We're engaged right now in a struggle against enemies of a kind not easily dealt with. We're not facing a clash of huge armies and navies. The outcome of the fight won't be like chasing Hitler into his bunker, having a surrender ceremony onboard ship, or wearing down a communist empire. The extremists in this war have a backward ideology, but they have genuine global ambitions -- and there is nothing old-fashioned about the weapons they're trying to get their hands on. Their goal is to intimidate the United States and our friends into dropping our global responsibilities. They would move into that void, impose a dictatorship of fear, and build new staging grounds for further attacks on us. And the toughest part of this fight is the enemy's cult of murder -- the utter rejection of any rules of warfare; the contempt for moral standards; the rejoicing in the blood and tears of innocent people. Their mode of operation is to target the unsuspecting, to lie in wait, and to shock the world in moments of spectacular violence.
As we take the fight to the enemy, they don't engage us force on force. At most, it'll be squad on squad. So we need to keep pressing for absolute superiority in speed, agility, and access to information. In this era of new dangers, I know DARPA has also been pounding hard on the issue of weapons of mass destruction. It's not a pleasant business to think about. But we have to do everything possible to take WMD's off the table as a threat to the United States or its friends. DARPA has already moved us in the right direction, and I'm confident you'll make even more historic progress in that effort. And in the core technologies -- whether it's microsystems, high- efficiency battery cells, or quantum science -- the work of DARPA will be the key to American military dominance far into the future, against any challenge that comes our way.
That future, I believe, will bring us many victories. And the day will come when the cause of tolerance and freedom overcomes the hateful ideologies that have turned their guns on us. A lot of our successes will be easy to quantify. Others will be harder to measure, because they'll be the things that don't happen: the attacks that don't come, the surprises that don't strike us, the harm that doesn't befall an American soldier. But those victories will be just as real. And many of them will occur because years before, somebody sat down and did some hard, disciplined thinking about the future, and came up with a good idea, and had the sturdy support and the guidance of DARPA.
If you've been associated with this agency, you're the kind of person who lives and breathes technology -- and you have a place in the story of the past 50 years. It's a story of boldness and excellence; of visionary, high-yield projects; and of service above self. And all of these have been directed to the highest purposes that a citizen can assume: The safety of our people. The security of our nation. And the survival of freedom itself.
We're an honorable country, a decent country, a generous country. And the world is a better place for the power and the influence of the United States of America . (Applause.) To have a role in this nation's defense is a privilege -- and that privilege has belonged to many in this room this evening. For that, I want to offer my highest personal respect and gratitude -- and my full confidence in DARPA for another outstanding 50 years.
Thank heaven for DARPA, and thank you very, very much. (Applause.)
END 8:24 P.M. EDT
SOURCE White House Press Office