January 16th, 2007 04:24 EST
U.S. Leaders reveal security plan
BAGHDAD — The commander of Multi-National Force – Iraq and ambassador to Iraq held a joint press conference at the Combined Press Information Center here Monday to discuss the future of Iraq.
General George W. Casey Jr., commander, MNF-I, and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, outlined their plans to improve reconstruction efforts and security in Baghdad and beyond.
“Increased security for Baghdad is key to allowing political progress and securing the rest of the country,” said Khalilzad.
The new security plan will be led by the Iraqis and includes political as well as economic initiative, in addition to military objectives.
“The government of Iraq will spend 10 billion dollars on infrastructure and reconstruction projects that will create jobs for the Iraqi people,” said Khalilzad.
The ambassador also said the Iraqi Government has promised they will target anyone who breaks the law.
“There will be no sanctuary for criminals or murderers,” said Khalilzad. “And no militia will be a replacement for the state, or control local security.”
As for security, both U.S. and Iraqi Forces will commit sufficient, reliable security forces here to ensure that the transition is successful. They will do this by enhancing both countries security forces.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that it is ultimately Iraqi Security Forces that will secure Iraq,” said Casey. “Training of Iraqi Security Forces remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq.”
Both Casey and Khalilzad warn that changes will not be immediate, and the efforts will take time and patience on everybody’s part.
“As with any plan, there are not guarantees of success, and it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Casey. “But with sustained political support, and the concentrated efforts on all sides, I believe that this plan can work.”
Casey also approved of the sacrifice and effort that the U.S. military personnel provide in aiding Iraq.
“I’d like to remind the American people about the magnificent job that the men and women of their armed forces are doing over here in a very tough environment,” said Casey. “You can be proud of what they’re doing to bring peace and stability to Iraq.”
(By Spc. Scott Kim, Combined Press Information Center)