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Myers admits the U.S. failed to kill the Iraqi resistance

Al Jazeera | April 27, 2005

Myers admitted that the number of attacks has increased

Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff admitted on Tuesday that the Iraqi resistance is "about where it was a year ago".

However, Myers insists the U.S.-led occupation forces are winning the war and is confident of victory.

“I’m going to say this: I think we are winning, okay. I think we’re definitely winning. I think we’ve been winning for some time,” Myers told reporters on Tuesday.

Myers admitted that the number of attacks has increased, however he maintains that was a poor measure of the resistance.

Myers, moreover, acknowledged that the rebel attacks were capable of surging to higher levels of violence.

“I think their capacity stays about the same and where they are right now is where they were almost a year ago,” he said.

“The essential point is that for things to work in Iraq, you’ve got to work against what we said, all these lines of operation, of which good governance is one,” he said.

According to Myers the number attacks has run between 50 and 60 a day in the past week, up from a recent average of about 40 a day.

"In terms of the number of incidents, it's right about where it was a year ago," he said.

"And weeks will differ, and months will differ a little bit. But if you look at the scope of this, over time since May of 2003, that's the conclusion you draw."

"There will be a lot of challenges ahead. Like any insurgency, we become impatient. And in the end, the Iraqis must do this for themselves."

On the other hand, the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld say there are "a lot of moving parts" in play in Iraq.

"We're focusing a reasonable portion of our efforts at the present time not on counterinsurgency at all. "We're focusing it on training Iraqi security forces in increasing amounts. So you can make a case that, gee, if the level's about the same, then the insurgency must be down because we're paying less attention to it and encouraging Iraqi security forces to pay greater attention."

Despite current unrest and non-stop attacks, Rumsfeld claimed that political and economic progress in Iraq  will soon prevail.

"The United States and the coalition forces, in my personal view, will not be the thing that will defeat the insurgency. "So therefore, winning or losing is not the issue for 'we', in my view, in the traditional, conventional context of using the word winning and losing in a war."

Washington has been pressuring Iraqi leaders to haste the formation of a new government.

Rumsfeld warned the Iraqi leaders against removing "competent people" from Iraq's security forces for political reasons; referring to the Shiite parties’ efforts to keep former members of the ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party out of top government posts.

"If they want to reduce the level of the insurgency, having competent people and avoiding unnecessary turbulence is a high priority," he said.

“We can’t afford slippage. We need to see that there’s some stability,” he said.

 

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