June 7th, 2007 05:07 EST
Premature Security Predictions: General Says
BAGHDAD — The Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman held a press conference at the Combined Press Information Center Wednesday.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, MNF-I spokesman, introduced himself and held an operational update concerning Fardh Al-Qanoon.
“I have great respect for my Iraqi friends and partners,” said Bergner. “After seeing firsthand their courage, sacrifice and commitment, I am truly inspired and honored to work with them.”
The fifth of the five brigades committed to Fardh Al-Qanoon is arriving, he said.
“Once they’re in position, they may take 30 to 60 days to fully establish themselves with their Iraqi counterparts and the people in those sectors,” he said.
While definitive assessments of the operation have been sought, Bergner stressed the importance of mature conclusions.
“It is still premature to be arriving at judgments, conclusions and too many predictions at this point in the operation,” said Bergner.
However, as Fardh Al-Qanoon continues to develop, progress has been made by Iraqi and Coalition forces on the ground.
“The collective sense [of commanders on the ground] is that the trends in Baghdad are better now than they were certainly in January and February,” said Bergner. “The joint security stations and combat outposts in and around Baghdad are having an effect.”
Bergner applauded Iraqi citizens in their struggle against al-Qaeda.
“The Iraqi people in various places have also begun to take a stand against al-Qaeda,” he said. “Indeed, Iraqi citizens are courageously fighting to rid their neighborhoods of these killers.”
Also, Bergner offered highlights of recent events such as the transition of three provinces to Iraqi control, the killings of key al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq and the growing involvement of the Iraqi population in fighting terrorism.
“As we make progress, it will not be like flipping a light switch,” Bergner said. “It will be gradual, nuanced and subtle.”
As Fardh Al-Qanoon edges full momentum, Bergner predicted difficult times ahead as Iraqi and Coaltion forces continue making progress to return normalcy to everyday life in Iraq.
(U.S. Army story by Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)