<a href="http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2005/tr20050627-secdef3161.html" target="_blank">SUMMARY OF GEN. CASEY'S NEWS BRIEFING OPENING STATEMENT</a>

Thursday June 30, 2005

In the past year, the Iraqis, supported by the coalition, have:
- established an interim government
- neutralized a Shi'a insurgency
- eliminated terrorist and insurgent safe havens across Iraq
- mobilized their security forces to confront the insurgency
- increased the pace of economic development
- conducted the first truly democratic elections in Iraq in decades
- seated a democratically elected National Assembly
- peacefully passed control to the transitional government

The insurgents and terrorists in Iraq have NOT:
- expanded their support base across Iraq
- attracted a broad following
- prevented the growth of Iraqi security forces
- kept their safe haven in Fallujah or reconstituted another one
- sparked sectarian violence
- stopped political and economic development in Iraq

Iraq slowly gets better every day. Recent polls confirm that Iraqis are confident in their government and their security forces. They are optimistic about the future, and they intend to vote in large numbers on the upcoming constitutional referendum in December's elections.

However, there are long-term developmental challenges and much to be done. Iraq's steady progress will be contested.

The Iraqi people make progress every day. They are serious about their future. They are serious about building a government that respects the human rights of all Iraqis. And they are serious about defeating the terrorists and insurgents who are doing their utmost to derail their dreams.

The mission in Iraq will require patience and will, but both the region and the United States will be more secure when Iraq succeeds.

Source: DoD (Transcript)

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

The Army Web team has launched a new historical site about the three day Battle of Gettysburg. The site features an animated battlescape, historical video footage, and profiles of people who served. Visit the new site at www.army.mil/gettysburg.

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Military says 17 were aboard crashed Chinook, fates unknown (AFIS)
  • Rescuers reach Chinook crash site (WP)
  • First Soldiers receive Combat Action Badge (ARNEWS)
  • Soldiers awarded with new Army badge (WT | EB)
  • Army meets June recruiting goals (NYT | EB)
  • Army recruiting better in June, still low for the year (USAT | EB)
  • As Bush calls for more people to enlist, military recruitment numbers lag (BG/EB)
  • Troops put lives on line to become U.S. citizens (USAT | EB)
  • President speaks to nation from Fort Bragg (ARNEWS)
  • Troops' silence during speech raises questions (NYT | EB)
  • Army marks Gettysburg anniversary with Web site (ARNEWS)
  • First Cavalry Division exemplifies changes throughout Army (NYT | EB)
  • War taking toll on Army marriages (HC | EB)
  • Army investigates death of reporter in Iraq (PI | EB)
  • Soldiers jump into Australia for Talisman Saber (ARNEWS)
  • Two cars down, Nemechek hoping third is charm (ARNEWS)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • Rumsfeld, Myers call on Americans to support troops (AFIS)
  • America Supports You Web site gets plug from president (CT | EB)
  • Bush's speech reflects public opinion strategy (WP | EB)
  • "A subtle shift in goals" -- Opinion (WP | EB)
  • Iraq prime minister predicts Syrians will cooperate (WT | EB)
  • Sunni negotiator forms insurgent political party, demands troop withdrawal timetable (PI | EB)
  • Secular Shiites seek autonomy for southern region of Iraq (NYT | EB)
  • Task Force Liberty finds caches, seizes weapons (AFIS)
  • Pentagon pressed to share troop readiness data (Bb/EB)
  • As violence rises, Afghanistan citizens feeling anxious (NYT | EB)
  • ISAF deploys quick reaction force in Afghanistan (AFIS)
  • Afghans trapped by flood waters lifted to safety (ARNEWS)

OF INTEREST

  • Overseas basing changes mean less troop stress, DoD tells Senate (AFIS)
  • Acting deputy Sec Def approves Pentagon homeland security strategy (ID/EB)
  • Bush orders creation of new FBI intelligence unit (NYT | EB)
  • Pentagon holds first worldwide town hall meeting (AFIS)
  • India, U.S. sign agreement which strengthens military ties (WT | EB)
  • U.S. and allies meet with N. Korean official (NYT | EB)
  • S. Korea confident of ability to deter North's aggression (KT/EB)

WORLD VIEW

  • Israel declares Gaza strip a closed military zone (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel fires missile into northern Gaza strip (Aljazeera)
  • Saudi Arabia sure of ability to track down terrorists (Arab News)
  • S. Korea unification minister seeks to close gap with U.S. (Korea Herald)

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Events

July 3, 2005
The U.S. Army Field Band and Chorus will perform in Boston at the Hatch Shell from 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. (More)

The U.S. Military Academy Band will perform from 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. at West Point as part of the Academy's Independence Day concert. (More)

July 4, 2005
The United States Army Band and the United States Army Herald Trumpets will perform with the North Carolina Symphony at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, N.C.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team will perform at Philadelphia's 4th of July parade. The parade begins at 6 p.m. OIF and OEF veterans will be recognized during the parade.

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

I continue to be inspired by the Iraqi people's courage and perseverance as they fight to build a better future for themselves and for their families. (Transcript)

Gen. George Casey
Commander, U.S. Forces in Iraq

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