A recent report from the Combined Press Information Center of the Multi-National Force-Iraq in Baghdad provided details on the future of Iraq, as discussed at a joint press conference held by the American military commander, General George W. Casey, Jr. and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.
During the press conference, General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad laid out their plans to move forward with security and reconstruction efforts in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. Ambassador Khalilzad was quoted as saying, “Increased security for Baghdad is key to allowing political progress and securing the rest of the country.”
Details discussed included a new security initiative with Iraqis forces in the lead, supported by coalition troops, and political and economic strategies to complement the military operations. According to the report, Ambassador Khalilzad said “The government of Iraq will spend 10 billion dollars on infrastructure and reconstruction projects that will create jobs for the Iraqi people.”
The report also said the Iraqi government had pledged to step up its law enforcement efforts, targeting anyone in violation of Iraq statutes. Ambassador Khalilzad said “There will be no sanctuary for criminals or murderers. And no militia will be a replacement for the state, or control local security,” according to the report.
General Casey, speaking about the security plans for Iraq, said “We should not lose sight of the fact that it is ultimately Iraqi Security Forces that will secure Iraq,” according to the MNF-I report. He went on to say, “Training of Iraqi Security Forces remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq.”
The report went on to say that both the United States and Iraq would commit adequate security forces to make sure that the transition of responsibility for security is a success. Both General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad warned, though, that signs of progress would not be visible right away, and that the new initiatives would require time and patience from everyone involved.
General Casey was quoted as saying, “As with any plan, there are not guarantees of success, and it’s not going to happen overnight. But with sustained political support, and the concentrated efforts on all sides, I believe that this plan can work.”
General Casey also took time to show his appreciation for the efforts of United States military personnel. “I’d like to remind the American people about the magnificent job that the men and women of their armed forces are doing over here in a very tough environment. You can be proud of what they’re doing to bring peace and stability to Iraq,” Casey was quoted as saying.
Information for this article was obtained from “Leaders Reveal Security Plan,” by Specialist Scott Kim, Combined Press Information Center, Multi-National Force-Iraq.