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Rumsfeld: Iraqis Ultimately Will Bring Stability to Iraq

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2004 – Beating the insurgency in Iraq is "a test of wills," but one that the United States, the coalition, and most importantly, the Iraqis, are committed to winning, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a Dec. 2 interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" program on Fox News Channel.

Rumsfeld said it's not the United States that ultimately will bring stability to Iraq -- it's the Iraqi people themselves.

He praised the Iraqi security forces who have suffered big losses defending Iraq, taking more casualties than the United States despite being organized for just over a year. "The Iraqi security forces are out there fighting," Rumsfeld said. "They're not sitting in their barracks hiding."

Rumsfeld said the Iraqi people are playing an important role in helping fight the insurgents. "The people in Fallujah started giving assistance to the troops and to the Iraqi forces up there fighting," he said. Now, they're aiding the coalition and Iraqis in Mosul, he added.

The secretary said the Iraqi people ultimately will tire of the violence the extremists are causing and the rising death toll among innocent Iraqis.

The extent of the insurgency wasn't predicted before the coalition went to war in Iraq, Rumsfeld said. But he was quick to say that some other dire intelligence estimates never occurred. "We heard they were going to burn bridges, light up the oil wells," he said. "There would be a humanitarian crisis, there would be a massive refugee problem. They were going to use weapons of mass destruction, so our people strapped on chemical suits every day."

Rumsfeld acknowledged that intelligence estimates also appeared to miss the mark about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, although he did not rule out the possibility that these weapons may still be in Iraq, buried or hidden and not yet found.

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Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

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