Citizens from more than 80 countries died September 11, 2001 - innocent men, women and children from across the globe. Within hours of the tragedy, coalitions involving many nations assembled to fight terrorism - literally hundreds of countries have contributed in a variety of ways - some militarily, others diplomatically, economically and financially. Some nations have helped openly; others prefer not to disclose their contributions.
The United States began building the coalition on September 12, 2001, and there are currently 50 nations supporting the global war on terrorism. To date, 21 nations have deployed more than 16,000 troops to the U.S. Central Command's region of responsibility. This coalition of the willing is working hard every day to defeat terrorism, wherever it may exist.
In Afghanistan alone, our coalition partners are contributing nearly 8,000 troops to Operation Enduring Freedom and to the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul - making up over half of the 15,000 non-Afghan forces in Afghanistan. The war against terrorism is a broad-based effort that will take time. Every nation has different circumstances and will participate in different ways. This mission and future missions will require a series of coalitions ready to take on the challenges and assume the risks associated with such an operation.
Coalition forces have made important contributions in the war against terrorism across the spectrum of operations. Particular contributions include, but are not limited to, providing vital intelligence, personnel, equipment and assets for use on the ground, air and sea. Coalition members also have provided liaison teams, participated in planning, provided bases and granted over-flight permissions - as well as sizable contributions of humanitarian assistance.