Rumsfeld: U.S. Troops Could be in Iraq for Decade
In his rounds on the Sunday talk shows this morning, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld revisited his “long hard slog” mantra, saying that the U.S. might have troops in Iraq for many years to come.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Sunday said U.S. troops may be needed in Iraq for years to fight insurgents and to help the Iraqi people win. “We`re not going to win against the insurgency, the Iraqi people will win against the insurgency,” Rumsfeld said on “Fox News Sunday,” one of three network television news programs he appeared on.
He downplayed an ABC News poll that showed 65 percent of respondents think the U.S. is bogged down and lacks a clear plan to get out of Iraq. Rumsfeld said war is a “tough, dirty business” and the media was focusing on negatives. “It`s just the reporting of the nature of war. It`s a tough business. It`s a terrible business,” Rumsfeld said on “ABC`s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said insurgent violence in Iraq may continue for a decade or longer and it will be up to the Iraqi forces, rather than U.S. troops, to end it. “That insurgency could go on for any number of years,” Rumsfeld said on the “Fox News Sunday” program today. “Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency. We’re going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency.”
One hopes that’s accomplished sooner rather than later. Having a U.S. advisory force or even a small garrison might be useful to that end. I can’t imagine that the continuation of a force approaching the current size will be helpful once a permanent government is in place in Iraq, though. There’s no way to be taken seriously as a sovereign power with a large foreign military presence, especially one perceived by many as an army of occupation.