'We Will See the Job Through,' British Official Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2005 The United States, Great Britain and the United Nations remain steadfast in seeing democracy established in Iraq despite continued insurgent violence, Britain's senior defense official said here today.
"The litmus test of leadership is not when things are easy or fashionable, but when times are difficult and we have to come through them towards the objective in the end," British Secretary of State for Defense John Reid told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing.
Resolution 1546, adopted by the U.N. Security Council on June 8, 2004, demonstrates that the mission to establish a democratic Iraqi government bears U.N. endorsement, Reid said.
"This is now sanctioned by, inspired by, protected by the United Nations," Reid said. "It is the world community which is now on the side of the Iraqi democrats, which is supporting their quest for self-determination under Resolution 1546."
Regarding events in Iraq, the question before the world is quite simple, Reid said.
"Either we will see democracy in Iraq destroyed by the terrorists," he said, "or we will see it built by Iraqis themselves."
Reid said British, American and other coalition troops will be in Iraq as long as it takes to prepare the new Iraqi democracy to stand on its own feet against threats.
"We will see the job through," Reid said. Continued acts of terrorism committed inside Iraq will only strengthen U.S.-British resolve to stay until the insurgents are defeated, he noted.
Meanwhile, American, British and other coalition forces continue to transfer more security duties to Iraqi forces, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who accompanied Reid at the news briefing, told reporters.
"And the people of Iraq continue to meet the political milestones that they have established," Rumsfeld said. Two Iraqi elections were successfully held Jan. 30 and Oct. 15. Another Iraqi election to select new general assembly members is slated for December.
As Iraqis make gains on the political front, Rumsfeld said, senior U.S., other coalition and Iraqi commanders will continue to assess the security situation across the country and make appropriate adjustments to force posture.
It's paramount that terrorists in Iraq are beaten before they become more powerful and emboldened to launch new attacks across the globe, Rumsfeld said.
"We are firm in the conviction that leaving before the job is done in either Afghanistan or Iraq as the terrorists hope would lead to even greater danger later," Rumsfeld said.