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Iraqi PM Announces New Security Plan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2005 – Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari announced a security plan building on the progress his country has already made.

Jafari spoke in Baghdad Aug 4 following visits to Iraqi security forces training facilities.

The prime minister said through a translator that the security situation in the country is improving. Security forces are increasing in both quantity and quality, he said.

"Today I was in Hillah, and I inspected new graduates, 750 newly graduated personnel," he said. "I witnessed their training and their performance, and I'm very content with this level. I am quite content with the field commanders also. And hopefully they will continue to progress."

Jafari said terrorist groups are trying to disrupt the political process and the coming elections. "They tried to foil the previous elections. They failed," he said. The terrorists are trying to justify their evil deeds with nationalism and religion, he said, adding that killing children and destroying holy sites, mosques and churches is not a political statement, but murder.

He pledged that Iraq will stand up to the insurgents. "Terrorists avoid areas where there is no sight of courage and no sight of courageous people," he said. "But this is not the case in Iraq."

Jafari gave general details of the plan. First, the country needs to improve intelligence coordination. "We have four centers to gather information, and they have been grouped under the name of Intelligence Coordination Center," he said. Gathering the intelligence and getting it to forces that can act on it is key.

The Iraqi government will also work on improving communications, and the Ministry of Defense will form a quick intervention forces.

Jafari said Iraqi security forces will follow up the successes of Operation Lightning to secure Baghdad and other areas. Operation Lightning deployed 40,000 members of the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and its surroundings to interdict terrorists and stop the flow of personnel, money and materials to them.

Corruption and smuggling is a serious problem in the country. Jafari's government has assigned the minister of planning and finance to follow up all corruption and smuggling activities. "We hope to increase the number of forces that follow up such subjects, and we hope to develop these forces not only by quantity, but also by quality," he said.

Finally, Jafari said, the government will work to protect the infrastructure and improve the judiciary.

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