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U.S. Troops 'Making A Real Difference' in Iraq, Myers Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2003 – American forces in Iraq are making important contributions to ensure that country's successful transition from dictatorship to democracy, the U.S. military's senior officer told a Senate committee here today.

"The point is that our forces are making a real difference" in Iraq and giving Iraqis hope for the future, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of a U.S. Senate committee that met to consider Myers' and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace's nominations for additional two-year terms as JCS chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

American troops deployed in Iraq, Myers continued, "are providing not only security, but also prosperity, freedom of expression, justice, education and medical care."

U.S. forces in Iraq "understand the importance of their role in this mission," Myers emphasized to the committee, noting that American military commanders "at every level are confident about the future in Iraq."

Myers cautioned Senate committee members that the war against global terrorism "isn't over."

Terrorists "want to destroy freedom in the United States and around the world," Myers asserted, noting that he was certain that Al Qaeda is "planning more attacks" against the United States and its allies.

Yet, Myers declared, the U.S. military is committed "to fighting this war on terrorism, to protect American values, the American people and our homeland."

The JCS chairman also assured the committee members that the United States "will win" the anti-terror war.

The past two years "have brought tremendous successes" for the United States and its allies in the war against global terrorism, Myers pointed out.

Winning the war on terrorism, he noted, is his top priority, followed by enhancing joint warfighting and transforming the armed forces "so we can deal with this 21st-century threat environment that we face."

If confirmed for his second term as JCS chairman, Myers pledged to committee members "to continue providing you the best military advice I can offer."

Anything less, he emphasized, "would be a disservice to the fighting men and women to whom America owes so much."

If reappointed as JCS vice chairman, Pace also pledged to continue to provide the best military advice that he could "to the leadership of this country."

While providing that advice, Pace also promised, he'd "keep in mind the privates, lance corporals, the lieutenants and the captains, and all those who are in harm's way right now who deserve our very best support."

Myers and Pace were both appointed to their initial terms as JCS chairman and vice chairman, respectively, on Oct. 1, 2001.


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