Insurgency still strong: Myers

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Richard Myers’ comments came amid an increase in insurgent attacks, some involving multiple car bombings as well as larger, coordinated assaults on military objectives.

“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,” General Myers told reporters.

He said the number of attacks has recently increased slightly but maintained that it was a poor measure of the insurgency. He noted that half the attacks are thwarted.

But he acknowledged insurgents could reach higher levels of violence than before the January 30 elections.

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

Meanwhile, progress towards the formation of a new government was painfully slow.

Iraq’s new leaders have taken nearly three months to form a government, raising US fears that political momentum gained from the elections is being squandered.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld emphasised the need for progress toward political and economic stability as key to defeating the insurgency.

“The United States and the coalition forces, in my personal view, will not be the thing that will defeat the insurgency,” he said.

“The people that are going to defeat that insurgency are going to be the Iraqis. And the Iraqis will do it not through military means solely, but by progress on the political side and giving the Iraqi people a sense that they have a stake in that country,” he said.

Mr Rumsfeld and General Myers both pointed to an increase in intelligence from Iraqis as a sign of headway against the insurgents.

General Myers also confirmed reports that US forces narrowly missed capturing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant behind many attacks, in an operation on February 20 near Ramadi.

“We were close,” said the general, who declined to comment on other details of the operation, including the reported capture of a laptop computer belonging to the Jordanian that contained a trove of information.

Comments are closed.