Chairman Says Security, Not Body Counts, Measures Success
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2005 Security - not body counts - is the true measure of success in Iraq, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Nov. 7 on PBS' "The NewsHour With Lehrer."
Jim Lehrer, host of PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," interviews Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace on Nov. 7. Pace talked about current operations in Iraq, and being the first Marine to serve as the chairman. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Sean P. Houlihan, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace said Iraqis providing security to Iraqis is the true measure of success. "This is not about killing of people," he said. "It is about providing security for people."
Pace said it would be a mistake for people to start counting bodies of insurgents and foreign fighters. He said that would send the wrong message to both American troops and Iraqi civilians. "Anyone who, in the past, has been counting bodies has been presenting the wrong measure of success," Pace said.
The general said the correct measure of coalition and Iraqi success is how much of the country is being controlled by coalition forces - especially Iraqi forces. Pace said that even as he spoke, an Iraqi division, four Iraqi brigades, and 24 Iraqi battalions were "taking over responsibility for various sectors of the country."
And they will get another opportunity as operations in and around Husaybah, near Iraq's border with Syria, continue. Some 2,500 Marines and 1,000 Iraqi troops are conducting operations in the city of 30,000. The idea is that once the coalition forces establish security in the city, the Iraqis will remain and maintain that security.
"We measure success of this operation by how quickly we are able to establish Iraqi government control of the area, and we measure success by watching as time goes on the ability of the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi police to continue to provide that security," Pace said.