On a visit to the United States to meet with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other officials, Iraqi Deputy President Adil Abdal-Mahdi said seventy percent of Iraq is now stable and secure.
Mr. Abdal-Mahdi said the Iraqi government has a reconciliation plan calling on Iraq's tribal leaders to bridge religious, political, and economic differences in support of a unified country. He also said the government is open to proposals from all Iraqis on ways to promote national reconciliation:
"All this is open and all is offered to people who would be willing to put their arms aside."
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said some two-hundred-seventy-thousand Iraqi security forces, "have been doing a very good job." Mr. Rumsfeld says there is, "no question but that you can go in and clear out an area and achieve a reduction in violence, and the test is not that." The test, he says, is a successful reconciliation plan coupled with security:
"What's important is that the [Iraqi] prime minister [Nouri al-Maliki] has committed himself to it. The leadership of the [Iraqi] government have committed themselves to it. Admittedly, it is a lot easier to talk about it than to do it. It's been done in many countries. I believe it can be achieved here. They're [the Iraqis] going to have to work very hard on it, and it's going to take some time, but it is a process, not an event."
"The important thing for the Iraqi government is to achieve success with respect to its reconciliation process," says Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He says that Iraqi reconciliation and the end of the insurgency "is not purely a military problem, and it is not going to be solved purely by military forces."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.