ANNAPOLIS, Md. — President Bush said today the war on terror had heightened the need for a sweeping military transformation encompassing new deployment strategies, advanced weaponry and the closure of unneeded military bases.
Bush told the 2005 graduating class of the U.S. Naval Academy that much had changed since he spoke to graduating midshipmen in May 2001, four months before the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He said the subsequent military offensives in Afghanistan and Iraq have underscored the importance of building a “21st century military” that relies more on mobility, speed and technology than on size and brute strength.
“We need you to take on two different missions at once,” Bush told the 976 Naval Academy graduates, dressed in starched white uniforms and sitting on folding chairs on the manicured playing field of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“We need you to defeat the terrorists who want to destroy what we stand for and how we live,” Bush said. “At the same time, we need you to transform our military for the 21st century, so we can deter and defeat the new adversaries who may threaten our people in the decades ahead.”