Iraqis, Not Coalition, Must Defeat Insurgents, Rumsfeld SaysBy Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2005 In the last analysis it will be the Iraqi people that will defeat the insurgency, not the coalition, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters here March 29.
Speaking at a Pentagon press briefing with Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace at his side, Rumsfelds statement was part of his response to a reporters query on what options the United States possessed in ending the insurgency in Iraq.
The secretary said he didnt see a lot of options to end the insurgency in Iraq, but instead envisioned steps that one needs to take that will reduce the insurgency.
Iraqi leaders continue their work to establish a new, democratic government. Meanwhile, ongoing military, political, economic and other types of assistance provided to Iraq by the United States and coalition nations, Rumsfeld observed, is going to create an environment thats hospitable to the Iraqi peoples success.
When the Iraqi people fully realize they have a voice and a stake in their nations affairs, Rumsfeld noted, then that event should have the effect of reducing the insurgency.
And a recovering Iraqi economy that produces more jobs, he said, should also contribute to reducing support for the insurgency and increasing support for the Iraqi government.
Rumsfeld also noted that the training and fielding of well-led Iraqi counterinsurgency forces also contributes to reducing the insurgency.
There are a lot of things right now, Pace pointed out, that make you hopeful about the way ahead in Iraq.
Asked about reports that Iraqi leaders are negotiating with some insurgency chiefs, Rumsfeld replied: Thats up to the Iraqi people and theyre going to have to make those judgments.
The Iraqi people, the secretary concluded, are going to have to decide through their government what is the limit to their tolerance for embracing people back into the Iraqi community.
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