COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY BRIEFING WITH
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR COALITION OPERATIONS, AND
DANIEL SENOR, SENIOR ADVISER, COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY
LOCATION: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
DATE: SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2004
(Note: Due to bad audio from the source, this transcript contains numerous
MR. SENOR: (In progress) -- in which we outline the five steps going forward,
the five phases, if you will, five-step plan, for Iraq, which are -- include
handing over sovereignty on June 30th to the interim government, continuing to
train, equip -- recruit, train and equip Iraqis who serve on the front lines to
secure their own country and make again greater contributions to defend against
the significant terror threat that will be here after June 30th; continuing to
build on our successes in reconstruction of Iraq's civil infrastructure;
continuing to broaden international support in all its forms; and continuing to
work with Iraq as they go on a path towards establishing representative
government with elections scheduled for 2005.
And obviously right now we're in a phase where Ambassador Bremer is working
closely with the recently announced interim government to get them on track for
that June 30th handover. And already there have been a number of ministries that
have been handed over; already Iraqis are assuming authority in a number of
areas. We're spending almost every day meeting with various ministers, meeting
with the prime minister, helping them prepare as they pursue this very critical
phase in the five-step to hand over sovereignty. And that would continue right
up till we depart.
Secondly, a number of you have asked questions about the status of the U.S.
mission or the U.S. Embassy, where things stand with regard to building out the
foreign mission, the U.S. mission. And I just wanted to -- there've been a
number of briefings in Washington that have not been here. I just wanted to give
a few pieces of information. If you have further questions, I can answer them.
By June 30th the Department of State will have on the ground almost half of all
those who will be staying on for permanent positions. Permanent positions for
the embassy are one-year assignments. Those would be the critical positions, and
then obviously they will build out immediately after June 30th from the other
From the senior level positions, in addition to Ambassador Negroponte who you're
familiar with, include Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, who will be the deputy chief of
mission who right now is deployed to help with the transition, but most recently
served in Albania. Ambassador Ron Neumann, who is the U.S. ambassador to
Bahrain. He will be the political-military chief here. He's also been in Iraq.
He took time off from Bahrain to help serve here and help assist the CPA and
Ambassador Bremer on political transition matters, and he will continue on in
the new embassy as the political-military chief. Ambassador Steve Browning of
Malawi will be here as the management minister counselor. Robert Ford from
Albania will be the political counselor. He's regarded as one of the best
Arabists in the State Department, and is a Turkish speaker.
As for the mid-level ranks within the embassy, there are approximately --
there's some 140 positions -- over 200 volunteers competing for those
assignments. In addition, there are identified 35 positions that will open up to
cover regional outreach throughout the country.
Between -- we estimated for these numbers -- a number of you have asked for
specific numbers -- between 900 and 1,000 flown-in Americans will be under chief
of mission authority in the new embassy. And there will be others who will be on
90-day special projects. There will be 600 or 700 Foreign Service Nationals.
That number will likely grow to a ratio that's more representative of, more
typical of the ratio of Foreign Service Nationals to flown-in positions at other
As for the regional outreach throughout the country, there will be four regional
hubs reporting through the embassy. There will be one in Mosul, one in Kirkuk,
one in Hillah and one in Basra. There will be five smaller regional teams
working directly with the military units in multiple communities. And the
embassy in Baghdad will work with the provincial government and the municipal
government in Baghdad. The regional hubs will operate like constituent posts of
embassies overseas, yeah and they will report back to the embassy. For the time
being they will not operate like consulates. They will be hubs. And, again, I am
happy to answer questions. We will be providing more briefings on this -- some
are background -- over the next couple of weeks to address the number of
questions you've had as we move forward with the transition.
So, General Kimmitt.
GEN. KIMMITT: Good afternoon. The coalition and Iraqi security forces continue
security and stability operations in Iraq in order to repair infrastructure,
stimulate the economy and transfer the sovereignty to the people of Iraq.
To that end, in the past 24 hours, the coalition and Iraqi security forces
conducted 1,900 patrols, 20 offensive operations, 29 Air Force and Navy sorties,
captured 39 anti-Iraqi elements and released 10 detainees. The next detainee
release from Abu Ghraib is scheduled for 14 June when 650 detainees are
scheduled to be released.
One hundred Iraqi police officers from Baghdad are en route to Kirkush military
training base, where they will receive special training in urban warfare.
Additionally, $24 million in contracts have been submitted to recruit six
additional 400-man public order battalions as part of the Iraqi Police Service
civil intervention force. With these additions, the Iraqi Police Service civil
intervention force will total nine public order battalions and two
In the north-central zone of operations, two coalition soldiers were wounded by
an improvised explosive device near Kufa this morning. The soldiers were
evacuated to a coalition medical facility.
In Baghdad, a stationary VBIED struck a coalition convoy in southern Baghdad,
wounding three U.S. soldiers. Coalition forces apprehended an individual seen
running from the vehicle, carrying his cell phone with him. The VBIED was a gray
Mercedes with 30 pounds of explosives and either four or five 125-millimeters
projectiles inside, detonated by a remote devices, suspected to be a cell phone.
This morning, coalition forces conducted a cordon and search of the Sadr Bureau
Bunker en Sadr City. En route the objective coalition forces were attacked by
several IEDs and RPG fire. There were no injuries to coalition forces, and one
vehicle was damaged.
On 7 June, coalition forces took two Turkish and two Iraqi civilians into
custody after they and their vehicle tested positive for explosive residue at a
CPA checkpoint nearby. All four stated they were working as part of a news team
on their way to an interview. While conducting a security inspection of the
vehicle, coalition dog units spotted the presence of explosive residue coming
from the rear panel of the van near the fuel tank. A total of three separate
positive hits were registered by the team at the same location. Further, three
of the four personnel were also tested positive for explosive residue by
coalition units. After questioning, all four individuals were released on 11
June, after it was determined they were no longer a security threat.
In the central-south zone of operations, a group of 25 personnel attacked the
Ali Ustiya (ph) Iraqi police station yesterday, utilizing six to eight trucks,
small arms and improvised explosive devices. They drove up to the front of the
IP station, got out of their car and fired several warning shots into the air.
Police officers at the station fled, and the attackers went into the station,
stole three AK-47s, a pistol, one TV, one satellite receiver and one air
conditioner. They did not break into the vault where weapons and body armor were
kept. Upon departing, they placed a home-made IED consisting of two
152-millimeter explosives -- excuse me, artillery rounds -- and an unknown
amount of plastic explosives inside the station. The explosion destroyed about
one-third of the police station.
Task Force 1st Armored Division continues operations to successfully isolate
Sadr and his militia in Najaf, through rewards and rebuilding -- (inaudible) --
Additionally, the Iraqi Police Service is actively (weeding ?) the remnants and
militia inside the city of Najaf.
The weapons reward program is still ongoing in Najaf with relative success. To
date, 48 mortars, 877 AK-47s, 223 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 774 RPG
rounds, 1,830 mortar rounds have been turned in. And approximately $350,000 has
been paid out to the citizens who support this program.
MR. SENOR: And with that we will be happy to take your questions. Yes?
Q You said that you released these four people who were suspected of coming into
the compound to -- posing as a news team, is that correct?
GEN. KIMMITT: That's correct.
Q (Inaudible) -- that they are still a threat, if they were trying to get into
this establishment posing as a news team.
GEN. KIMMITT: They had press credentials. There was some concern about the press
credentials that they were carrying, but after further investigation their
credentials were substantiated. Their employment with the news organization was
substantiated. And as some of the other questionable documents they had were
investigated, reasonable explanations came up with discrepancies. It was
determined that these persons were not a threat; hence, they were released.
Q One follow up. You had explosive residue on the car around the fuel tank you
said. I understand that you went back to the hotel and checked their room and
there were some explosives found there. Is that correct?
GEN. KIMMITT: That's not correct.
MR. SENOR: Yes?
Q (In Arabic not translated.)
GEN. KIMMITT: On the first question, that was the incident we just referred to.
It was actually two Iraqi citizens who were picked up with explosive residue on
their vehicle, and three of the four persons had detection for explosive residue
on their persons. Again, these were -- there were some questionable documents.
They also had some questionable airline tickets. Once those questions were
resolved, those persons had satisfactory explanation for the purpose and their
reason for being in this area -- in fact, it did not happen at the CPA, it
happened right here in the vicinity of Al Rashid. And once the people and their
organizations gave satisfactory answers to all the questions we had, the persons
On your second question, it is not the intention of the coalition to release
imminent threats to the security of Iraq prior to June 30th. UNCR 1589 was quite
explicit that we retain the authority to detain persons. We understand that we
are going to be talking with the interim Iraqi government on the procedures
after they are detained, but there is still a clear responsibility, in fact an
obligation on the part of those who provide security for this country to ensure
that we do not release imminent threats of security of Iraq in public streets.
Q This is regarding the assassination of the deputy foreign minister today.
Could you comment on what kind of security someone in his position would have,
and who provides that security?
MR. SENOR: I hope you understand -- and these issues have come up in the past --
we are reluctant to provide a great deal of detail to the press on the nature or
structure of security for Iraqi government officials, precisely because those
who are seeking to assassinate Iraqi government officials seek that information.
I could tell you that the coalition does one of two things -- provides one of
two things for Iraqi officials, depending on the officials. We either provide
security ourselves or we provide training and funding for security for the Iraqi
officials who administer security of the respective ministries, to administer
security. I don't want to specify case by case. I hope you understand we don't
want to be tipping our hand to those terrorists who are trying to assassinate
these individuals -- which individual is eligible for what kind of funding or
what type of training. But at the minimum we provide funding and training to a
number of these government officials.
Now, it is often up to them as to the extent to which they want their security
forces to participate in the training we provide. We obviously encourage it. We
obviously would defer to the official themselves if they want to -- choose to
establish security or security training through another way. But I will add that
security for these Iraqi government officials is a very -- (inaudible) --
coalition, and while there have been some tragedies over the last few weeks
which have been simply awful, it's important to recognize that a number of
tragedies have been averted, and it's in part because of the work the coalition
has done, but also in large measure the work of Iraqi security forces and other
security forces assigned to these officials, or those who are just involved,
Iraqis in official positions in the Iraqi national security services.
Q I'm just (trying ?) to get a sense of the total -- (off mike) -- Iraqi people.
And there were sources who said it was a quick-reaction force that's being
organized to identify -- (off mike) -- do damage, respond to that attack, and --
(off mike). Can you say anything about the state of those plans? Who will lead
that force, if it is indeed in the works, and something about the scale?
MR. SENOR: Let me say this -- and for similar reasons I don't want to get into
great detail -- as the question I got just a moment ago, we obviously don't want
to indicate our plans at a great level of detail and -- (inaudible) -- as to how
we are going to protect against these attacks. Those organizing these attacks
obviously want that information.
But let me just tell you what our experience has been over the past here. About
a year ago, we experienced significant attacks against Iraq's electrical
infrastructure, its oil infrastructure, and this was at a time when there was
virtually no security -- there were no security forces guarding this critical
infrastructure, and this infrastructure was very vulnerable, very brittle with
regard to these attacks, and it contributed to a second problem that there was
no redundancy for these systems, which made it very susceptible to breakdowns
across the country when one isolated area was attacked.
So we built up an Iraqi security force and Facilities Protection Service, which
is -- can't give you exact numbers, but it's some 15,- or 20,000 Iraqi security
personnel guarding this infrastructure. We did that in line with applying
substantial funding to reconstructing much of this infrastructure building a
redundancy -- there was virtually no redundancy in this infrastructure when we
arrived here. Saddam Hussein just didn't invest in critical infrastructure.
So a combination of investing in redundancy and providing security services
along the critical infrastructure, resulted in two things. One, the marginal
risk for the terrorists to engage in these attacks went up, because they knew --
they learned quickly that when you engage in these attacks the likelihood of
being confronted, possibly killed if you engage in these attacks went up. And
the marginal benefit of a successful attack in the eyes of these terrorists went
down, because with redundancy built in it was harder to make the kind of impact
that they were seeking because we of course invested in the infrastructure.
So what are they doing now? They are engaged in more spectacular attacks, larger
attacks, to try to overcome or persevere over the defense mechanisms that we've
put in place. They were working -- and, again, I don't want to get into
specifics of what we are doing to address that, what the Iraqi -- what Prime
Minister Allawi has planned -- I certainly would let him speak, if he's
comfortable speaking about his plans. But, needless to say, we've recognized the
problem, we've already addressed it. The attacks against critical infrastructure
went way down. The impact of remaining attacks went way down. And now we have a
new kind of attack. And we'll help the Iraqis to address that as well.
GEN. KIMMITT: And what's so disheartening about these attacks is these are clear
demonstrations on the part of terrorists that they are attacking the people of
Iraq. It is not the multinational forces that will suffer if you will stop the
electricity grids, or if there are any mile-long gas lines. These are clearly
attacks against the Iraqi people. It's the long-standing policy of terrorists to
try to intimidate, to try to frustrate, to try to isolate the people of Iraq.
And it's very, very important in our mind the people of Iraq clearly understand
what's going on here, and they understand if they band together to clearly
reject the terrorists as they try to separate the people of Iraq from the
interim Iraqi government or from the coalition forces.
Q I wonder whether you could tell me something about the military's plans after
the 1st of July? In other words, what roles will you conduct from -- whether
you'll -- what you can tell us about your physical plans and that sort of thing?
If you can't fill it in right now, to a large extent, when do you think those
things may crystallize?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, I think we can fill them in now. The U.N. Security Council
resolution was a clear mandate and authority for us to continue to operate
inside Iraq. The letter provided by Prime Minister Allawi was clear and
indicated that the people of Iraq want to continue to have multinational forces
operate inside of Iraq in partnership with the Iraqi security forces -- no
longer as occupiers but now as a partnership.
What we are going to do different is very, very -- what should be -- not much
different -- I don't think you're going to see much difference on July 15th than
you saw on January 15th. We still have responsibility, in cooperation and
partnership with our Iraqi security partners to make a safe and secure
environment, a safe and secure environment here in Iraq. We will not be pulling
out of the cities. We will not be relocating. We certainly would like to see
more and more Iraqi security forces at the lead. But it is important that the
people of Iraq understand that the clear message from the United Nations
Security Council resolution and from the prime minister-designate of Iraq, for
the choice to continue, the presence of the multinational forces, be in
partnership with the Iraqi security forces. So we do not see that as either a
catalyst or a requirement to significantly change our operations, our locations
or our patterns.
Q But, general, -- (inaudible) -- will change? Not whether you are going to lay
it out now with some target dates, or are you going to have to feel your way?
GEN. KIMMITT: We're not going to feel our way. We have talked for months and
months about the concept of local control. Our end state, our exit strategy from
Iraq: Are credible, capable Iraqi security forces capable of providing for the
defense of their nation -- internal and external security? That clearly is the
best way or the quickest way for the coalition forces to withdraw from Iraq.
That means what we need to do is continue our process of manning, training,
equipping the Iraqi security forces to take on the responsibility. That means we
continue to work with the Iraqi security forces in partnership, so that they can
take over more of the responsibilities, we can take over less of the
responsibilities. That is done by conditions and not by the calendar. As we talk
about local control, we're talking about when the conditions on the ground,
which we typically talk about being credible Iraqi control over a city -- the
mayor, the police chief -- when those are present, when the tactical situation
permits, when the end of this situation permits, we are ready to withdraw and
turn this completely over to the Iraqi security forces. But that's a
conditions-based -- those conditions need to be met before we preemptively
withdraw and facilitate or create a security vacuum. We're not going to let that
happen. But nor are we going to stay another day longer than necessary.
MR. SENOR: Ed.
Q Ed Wong from the New York Times. The governor of Najaf said today that he was
going to allow some of the police down there to arm themselves with some heavier
weapons such as RPGs. And I know that some of the urban anti-terrorist groups
that are training are to be trained to fire RPGs. So I'm just wondering if
basically to what extent will heavier weapons be allowed to be used by police or
some domestic Iraqi security forces outside of the army to combat whatever
insurgent forces are out there?
GEN. KIMMITT: I think that's clearly a choice for the governor of Najaf to make.
If he believes that his police forces down there in the conduct of their public
security role need to be -- have heavier weapon sets, that's a choice for the
Iraqi to make. That's a choice for the Iraqi government to make.
MR. SENOR: I would just add that on the situation in Najaf -- I went through the
five steps the president addressed in his speech regarding Iraq. His first two,
transition of authority on June 30th and increasing Iraqi responsibility for
security. What we are seeing down in Najaf is Iraqis already embracing those two
steps the president spoke about. You are seeing Iraqis solving problems among
themselves and Iraqis assuming the leadership to solve problems themselves. The
governor of Najaf has played a critical role in the situation down there,
certainly asserting his leadership, Iraqi leadership in the situation (in the
The discussions that began between Muqtada al-Sadr and the Shi'a House or Shi'a
Conference were at the initiation of the Iraqis, not of the coalition. And
certainly the Iraqi police have been playing an instrumental role in the
situation with the militia down there over the last few days, and with regard to
the president's second step, about the Iraqi security forces playing an
increasing role. So as we move forward here, many parts of the country where
there have been some crises in the past, and where realistically there will be
problems in the future, it is encouraging to see the signs of Iraqis assuming
positions of authority, assuming positions of leadership, assuming roles of
problem-solving among themselves, and playing an increasing role in their own
Q (Off mike) -- if you will allow me two questions. One is -- (inaudible) --
some of the attackers this morning have been arrested -- (inaudible) --
assassinated the deputy foreign minister? And secondly, on Fallujah -- (off
mike) -- Fallujah situation is completely out of control of the situation, and
also the noble sheiks cannot do anything. So, could you tell us something,
what's going on inside Fallujah and what is in this regard the terror threat?
Has it decreased? Has it increased? What is going on? Thank you.
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, on your first question regarding the assassination or the --
(inaudible) -- assassination, I don't have any details. The Iraqi police may
have details whether they picked anybody up in that.
The Fallujah Brigade, the situation in Fallujah -- if you take a look at the
ledger right now, there are positives and negatives in terms of what's going on
in Fallujah right now. There's been one military incident since May 3rd that
involved gunfire. In fact, didn't even involve gunfire -- it involved a couple
of mortar rounds -- (inaudible).
So since May 3rd it has been generally quiet in Fallujah. The Fallujah Brigade
is operating inside the city and it's generally quiescent. It's quiet. There's
haven't been any major incidents.
On the other side of the ledger, on the negative side of the ledger, we have
clearly articulated the coalition objectives include Iraqi control back in the
city, foreign fighters out, heavy weapons out, those responsible for the attacks
on the Iraqi police station on the 14th of February and those responsible for
the attack on the American contractors, the brutal murder and the dismemberment
of the contractors be turned over to Iraqi justice.
We are not satisfied that we are making adequate progress in the latter. We are
not satisfied that there has been progress on any of those objectives, with the
exception of having an Iraqi presence back in Sadr City. On the other hand, you
need to balance that off against the fact that we have not had to resort to a
force of arms to move the process forward.
We can sit here and judge whether it's moving fast enough, not fast enough, too
fast or too slow, but we're carefully watching Fallujah. We are certainly
intending to try to accelerate the process through peaceful discussions rather
than through military discussions. So, it's sort of a mixed report card, a mixed
ledger right now, in Fallujah. It is quiescent, it is quiet, somewhat peaceful,
but there's still a long way to go in Fallujah before the coalition and for that
matter before the Iraqi government can be satisfied that we have brought
Fallujah to resolution -- resolution defined as those objectives of frankly
taking Fallujah and letting them enjoy parts, and significant parts, of the
billions of dollars that have been provided for the reconstruction of this
Q (In Arabic, not translated.)
GEN. KIMMITT: That's the nature of partnership. The nature of partnership is
that one side certainly enjoys its own privileges which it worked to get. The
Iraqi government will not command the multinational forces. No, nor will the
multinational forces command Iraqi security forces. We are setting up the
modalities or setting up the organizations by which we can operate together to
provide jointly and through partnership a safe and secure environment here in
Iraq. We are doing many things already with the Iraqi security forces who have
been operating for long periods of time with the Iraqi police, the Iraqi --
We are now starting more engagement and partnership at the senior levels at the
Ministry of Defense, the Iraqi armed forces -- troop visits out to the different
MNDs , as well as talks between the Iraqi leadership and the multinational
forces leadership. We are going to set into place our capability to share data
such as operational data, to share intelligence data, so that we have somewhat
of a common vision between the overlapping and the separate operations as well.
So in terms of what we are trying to keep -- it's quite simple -- you have the
multinational forces and the Iraqi security forces working in a partnership,
together for a common objective, which is seeking security of Iraq. We are
absolutely convinced that the procedures that we are setting up, the
organizations we are setting up, the liaison that we're exchanging essentially
(celebrate ?) so that we will be able to do this with very, very little
difficulty. It's important to understand that the coalition right operates with
30 different nations, 30 different military organizations working together. And
so we understand within the multinational forces how to operate with other
countries. And this is different because this is Iraq, it's a civil, sovereign
nation. That's exactly right. But the United Nations command in Korea operates
every day with the sovereign nation of Korea. We know how to do it there and
we've been doing it for many years. So we're very, very -- we're quite convinced
that this will be easy -- modification of easy adaptation so that tomorrow the
partnership is more -- (inaudible) -- but it's also practiced as well.
Q (In Arabic -- not translated.)
MR. SENOR: Let me be clear: Iraqis will have full, complete and total
sovereignty on June 30th. Iraqis will control their natural resources, such as
oil. Iraqis will be drafting their budget for 2005. Not the coalition. Iraqis
will be in control of their foreign policy. Iraqis will be in control of their
defense infrastructure, in charge of their security services. Iraqi government
will be in control of all these areas and all the others that one associates
with government authority, executive authority, following June 30th.
Most importantly, Iraqis will be in a position to hold fellow Iraqis accountable
for the decisions of their government. It will be Iraqi officials standing up
here giving press conferences and answering your questions about the decisions
they're making to run your country -- not coalition officials. In fact, it's
already begun. You know, Prime Minister Allawi speaks to the press on almost a
daily basis. He says his ministers will start to do the same too. They have
already begun the process by which they are being responsive to the Iraqi
people. And that will transition in totality on June 30th, when you'll only be
hearing from Iraqi governing officials about the management and the day-to-day
operations of their country, about the long-term agenda for their country. All
that will be addressed by Iraqi officials. And, as I say, you will be able to
hold Iraqis accountable as I said, and the day-to-day exchanges like the ones we
have here, press conferences, and their views -- (inaudible) -- but also in
January of 2005 when Iraq holds its first direct elections -- first in its
history, really first in the last 35 years, and probably one of the only of its
kind in this part of the world. So Iraqis will know full well that they have
complete sovereignty and they have an opportunity to participate in all sorts of
these activities that will really commence with a great deal of momentum in the
Q (In Arabic -- not translated.)
MR. SENOR: Sure, yeah. Well, these are issues that will be worked out between
the United States government and the Iraqi interim government. And these issues
are worked out in any bilateral government in which the United States government
has a mission on the ground in Iraq. So of course the United States government
will need property to house its embassy. This will be one of the largest
missions in the world, as the United States government has said, to include U.S.
permanent officials as well as Foreign Service Nationals, about 1,600 or 1,700
people working here in the embassy or out throughout the country. There will be
a USAID mission -- probably one of the largest in the world. The United States
government has been -- (inaudible) --
Now, the character of our engagements will change after June 30th. The
commitment, the actual commitment of our engagement will not change, and a
substantial commitment, requiring substantial resources to execute --billions
and billions of dollars -- at work here. So we're going to need the requisite
property, facilities, in order to continue to have a relationship with Iraq in a
way that is both supporting and bilateral. And it's going to be an area that's
sufficient secure. We expect the security to be greater earlier on than later
And so we will work these issues out with the interim government. The Iraqi
interim government has issues as well, and ensuring that the U.S. government is
in a position to operate here and is certainly in a position to continue to
GEN. KIMMITT: On the second question, on June 30th Iraqis will be in control.
Today you are free, it is democratic. On June 30th it will be sovereign. There
are some people who will not like that. There are some people who will out and
hunting to test the new Iraqi government, sovereign Iraqi government, to see how
durable it is and how capable it is. We would expect that those who are trying
to separate the people of Iraq from the Coalition Provisional Authority now and
the coalition forces, will try to separate and intimidate the people of Iraq not
to trust the new Iraqi government. They will probably attempt to through their
actions demonstrate that the Iraqi government is incapable of looking out for
the best interests of their people. So we fully expect that the security
requirements, as Mr. Senor said, will continue for a certain period of time. We
would absolutely hope that on July 1st the terrorists and the former regime
elements -- those who do not want to see this country achieve democracy, freedom
and sovereignty -- those who would prefer totalitarian extremism -- would
certainly hope they would accept the fact that the people of Iraq have spoken.
We certainly hope that they would accept the fact that there's no turning the
clock back to totalitarianism or to extremism. But we've also got to prepare for
their dying gasps, for their attempts to try to derail the process of the Iraqi
interim government to succeed and to take you to full democracy. And the Iraqi
security forces, in partnership with the coalition forces, now the multinational
forces, will continue to provide the backdrop for a safe and secure environment
to see you through that time. Thank you.
Q (In Arabic -- not translated.)
MR. SENOR: To your first question -- and I'll let General Kimmitt -- (inaudible)
-- question -- the agreement, the U.N. Security Council resolution --
(inaudible) -- moment ago how it manifests itself in terms of the partnership,
the relations between coalition forces, multinational forces, and the Iraqi
forces. If there is a change in the future, I can't discuss or speculate. I
don't know if there will be a change in the future -- (inaudible) -- pass this
resolution, and let's let this process kind of play itself out. But our
understanding based on the resolution and the annex to the resolution include
the letter exchange between Prime Minister Allawi and Secretary Powell as a real
mutual understanding about this partnership, as General Kimmitt has spoken to,
about the need for multinational forces and support (for after ?) June 30th --
(inaudible) -- terror threat here. Iraqis to play a role in securing their own
country, as it is in the interests of the United States government for Iraqis to
play a role in securing their own country.
GEN. KIMMITT: As to your first question, the cordon and searches you were
referring to, those cordons and searches in Najaf are actually being conducted
by the Iraqi police service. Over the past few days, there were some resurgence
of violence down in Najaf, it was a compliment to the governor of Najaf that
although some had called up and said that we need coalition forces assistance,
he said, No, we can take care of this problem ourselves. Coalition forces did
not participate in those operations. They stood ready at their base camps nearby
if it turned into an emergency situation. But as we have seen over the past
couple of days, the police were quite capable of handling the problem, and it's
going to -- (inaudible) -- . Last question.
Q General, you seem to be disappointed in Fallujah. Detailed reports that
insurgents are ruining many parts of the city. Do you reserve the right to roll
into Fallujah again if your demands are not met? And also this question applies
to Muqtada al-Sadr, if he threatens your forces -- or do you need the green
light from the new Iraqi government?
GEN. KIMMITT: The -- first of all, I don't want to engage in a hypothetical
about what we might do or might not do. We retain the right to use any military
option necessary proportional with our rules of engagement to solve a problem in
Fallujah. However, it remains our preference that this is not solved through
military means but through peaceful dialogue. There is some work to do in
Fallujah. To suggest that we are satisfied with the progress thus far in
Fallujah would be mistaken. We've got work to do in Fallujah. We've got to take
a peaceful track, a political track, a diplomatic track, to see if we can solve
this. But we also have the military track if necessary.
MR. SENOR: Thank you, everybody.