STAND TO!

Edition: Thu, June 23, 2005
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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

The security forces of Iraq are continuing to make significant progress....Their performance on the whole has been very good. Where they're well led, they've proven that they are patriotic, they're willing to fight, and they do extraordinarily well. (Transcript)

Lt. Gen. John R. Vines
Commander, Multinational Corps Iraq

TODAY'S FOCUS

IRAQ UPDATE

Iraq has made significant progress since the country assumed responsibility for its governance on June 28, 2004.
- The government's capacity continues to develop, which is critical to the success of security operations.
- Capacities that Americans take for granted in our military - logistical support, personnel systems, pay systems - must be developed in Iraq, a country that didn't have its own government and infrastructure to support it a year ago.

Political progress in Iraq:
- Successful elections in January, despite threats of intimidation and attempts to disrupt the elections.
- The Transitional National Assembly has been seated.
- The writing of the constitution is underway, with a referendum on it expected in October and national elections in December.

Military progress in Iraq:
- More than 100 Iraqi army battalions have been fielded.
- More than 80,000 other forces, such as border police, Ministry of Interior forces and Facilities Protection Services, have been fielded.

The decision when to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq will be conditions-based, not calendar-based.
- The capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces are continually assessed. Iraq must be able to control its own security and control what happens within its borders.
- Insurgents will continue to do all they can to disrupt the ratification of the constitution and the election of a permanent government.
- Currently there are approximately 135,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.

Level of support for violence in Iraq is narrow.
- The population is increasingly rejecting the insurgency at large. Iraqis want a government that provides for the country's own security.
- Despite attacks, recruiting for the Iraqi Security Forces remains strong and intelligence tips from citizens have increased.

The new government in Iraq must be acceptable to the broad populace.
- The Coalition will provide the space and time that allows the new government and election process time to proceed without being murdered in its infancy by the insurgents.

Source: DoD Transcript

SOCIAL NETWORKING

The NHRA Drag Racing "Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals" will be held 24-26 June in St. Louis, Missouri. Competing will be 2004 NHRA Top Fuel Dragster Points Champion Tony Schumacher as he continues his quest for another points championship.

The NASCAR "Dodge/Save Mart 350" will run 26 June at Infineon Raceway. Army-sponsored NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek continues in his quest for another top 20 season.

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