[b]A New Reality[/b]
1. The recent terrorist attacks on our nation highlight the new reality of warfare. The very visible attacks against icons of our democratic nation and our citizens no longer represent a simple violation of international law. As was evidenced so graphically both in New York City and Washington, a new form of open warfare was declared against America, directly targeting civilian and military personnel and our institutions alike. Our Commander in Chief has stated we will respond to this act of war, and we will prevail. As we respond to this tragedy, our focus, as always, is to mission first and people always. In line with this commitment, I would like to offer my condolences to those who have suffered the loss of loved ones. I would like to voice special thoughts and prayers for our comrades-in-arms in the Army and Navy who appear to have borne the brunt of the attack at the Pentagon. While the process of accounting for all personnel, active duty, reserve, veteran, and civilian is not yet complete, our Corps appears, thus far, to have been spared any loss of life in Washington. I am not as optimistic with respect to the attack in New York City. Scores of emergency response personnel and the general public are bound to be members of the "Marine Family."
2. The very public display of this new form of warfare comes as no surprise to Marines. Our focus on developing anti-terrorism and force protection (AT/FP) capabilities across our force continues our tradition of innovation and transformation. The threats we so visibly faced have fully validated the reorganizations we have undergone in the past few years, especially in the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion and our Fleet Anti-Terrorist Security Team capabilities. Our more recent efforts to incorporate AT/FP skill sets in all deploying Marine Corps units has proven prescient in addressing the latest threat to our national security. While our expeditionary culture remains the centerpiece of our warfighting capability, the added ability to effectively deal with terrorism is critical today and will remain one of our core capabilities for the foreseeable future.