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Politics Helping to Defeat Insurgents in Iraq, Rice Says

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2006 – Recent political progress in Iraq will help defeat the insurgency there, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today.

"You defeat an insurgency through politics, not just through military force. The Iraqis have gone out and voted three times, and they now have a permanent government. That's a sign progress," Rice said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

During last week's first-ever joint trip to Iraq with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Rice said, the country's new leaders said they wanted to take on more responsibility in the security realm.

"We talked with the Iraqi leadership. ... They want to be able to take responsibility for their own security, and we want them to take responsibility," she said during an earlier appearance this morning on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

The secretary said this was already beginning to happen, as Iraqi security forces are increasingly taking over for U.S. forces.

"We are still doing some kinetic, or active, military operations against the terrorists. But more and more, Iraqis are taking a lot more responsibility for patrols and taking a lot more responsibility for security in places like Baghdad," she said.

"Most importantly we're going to continue to put this in a political context, in which the Iraqi government drains support for the insurgency by the fact they are indeed a national unity government," she continued. "Those elements together should allow more responsibility to Iraqis and less responsibility to coalition forces over the next couple months.

"I think that everybody wants to make sure that what we're doing is matching the forces to the conditions and to the demands on the ground," she added.

Regarding Iran, Rice told Stephanopoulos that even though Iran's leaders claim they are not concerned with U.N. sanctions, their actions suggest otherwise. She said Iran's maneuvering to the keep the nuclear issue in the International Atomic Energy Agency arena as opposed to having it go to the U.N. Security Council demonstrates this fact.

This "suggests to me that they are indeed somewhat concerned that the Security Council might move to the kinds of measures that could further isolate them," she said. "It's likely that we will try to move to a Chapter 7 resolution, which is a resolution in the U.N. which compels behavior from a member state. At that point we go back and look at what measures might be taken."

The credibility of the international community is at stake with Iran, she said. "We can either mean what we say when we say that Iran must comply, or we can continue to allow defiance," she said.

Rice also stressed that for the time being Iran must be dealt with on a strictly diplomatic basis. "I absolutely believe we have a lot of diplomatic arrows in our quiver," she said.

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Biographies:
Condoleezza Rice


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