[D]espite their headline-grabbing mass murders, the extremists are failing. Indeed, the murders of Iraqi citizens and children appear to be hardening the majority of the Iraqi people's commitment to defeat al Qaeda and to build a better country. And with the support of the outstanding men and women in uniform from our country and from the other coalition countries, I believe they will do just that. (Transcript)
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REPORT ON IRAQ
On July 21, DoD provided Congress with an update on Iraq's progress in moving toward a secure and self-supporting society. The report asses Iraq's status on the political, economic and security fronts. Below are highlights from a press conference held by Secretary Rumsfeld discussing key points of the report.
- Terrorists have failed to derail the political process in Iraq.
- The date for the national referendum on the permanent constitution remains on schedule for October 15.
- Elections for a new Assembly are scheduled for December 15.
- The U.N. is supporting Iraq's constitutional development process.
- The United States and the European Union jointly hosted a conference in Brussels that led to additional pledges of financial support for the new Iraqi government.
- Iraqis' confidence in their future is increasing.
- A recent poll shows a ten percent rise since January in the number of Iraqis who believe their country is headed in the right direction.
- Between January and June, new business registrations have increased by 50 percent.
- Cell phone and internet usage, both heavily restricted during Hussein's regime, is up.
- Attacks on infrastructure have decreased since the January elections.
- The number of Iraqi Security Forces exceeds the number of Coalition troops by a good margin.
- Although terrorists have suffered numerous setbacks, those in Iraq remain effective, adaptable and intent on carrying out attacks against Iraqi civilians and officials.
- The extremists continue to try to foment tension, ethnic strife and even civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ias through murder and attacks on religious sites.
- Countries such as Syria and Iran remain notably unhelpful in assisting Iraq secure its borders from foreign invaders.
- Unemployment remains a concern, though increasing business development should alleviate that problem.
Click here to view the entire report.
Source: DoD News Brief
July 23, 2005
A World War II commemorative event will be held at the Navy Pier in Chicago, with support provided from the Office of the Chief of Army Public Affairs Chicago Field Office. For more information call MAJ Micki Sotta at (703) 588-7630.
July 24, 2005
Special Forces: Green Berets, Military Channel, 8:00 p.m. (More)