Since its liberation from an oppressive regime and the successful elections in January, the Iraqi people are now on their way towards a free and democratic society. Significant security challenges remain, but there is no doubt that Iraq is moving in the right direction. (Transcript)
Dr. Francis J. Harvey
Secretary of the Army
- Iraqi Security Forces are becoming more independent and more confident in their own capabilities.
- As the forces continue to grow in number and train for more complicated missions, the respect the Iraqi people have in their country's forces is also increasing.
- Cultivating the forces' new leaders remains the biggest challenge.
- Iraqis continue to come forward to Iraqi and Coalition forces with tips on the whereabouts of insurgents and locations of weapons caches.
- Some of these tips have led to large numbers of insurgents being picked up.
- After defying threats of intimidation and voting in national elections on Jan. 30, Iraqis are eager to get their elected government in place.
- Despite continued attacks on the Iraqi Security Forces and the insurgents' campaign of intimidation and assassination, Iraqis are stepping forward to serve in the security forces and going on the offensive to take back their country.
- U.S. forces that were in Iraq to help secure the country for the Jan. 30 elections are continuing their scheduled rotations home.
- After the rotation is complete in the next few weeks, approximately 135,000 to 140,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq.
- Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, will make an assessment in June on the state of the insurgency, the upcoming elections, and the capability of Iraqi Security Forces to determine how many U.S. forces are needed. The decision will be condition based.
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Army Rodeo: Next stop on Wrangler ProRodeo Tour: April 10, Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, NV