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Helping Iraqis Help Themselves

Iraq is facing an upsurge in violence as U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces continue operations in and around Baghdad. They are clearing neighborhoods of terrorists and death squads and have uncovered large caches of weapons.

President George W. Bush says, "The way to succeed in Iraq is to help Iraq's government grow in strength and assume more control over its country as quickly as possible":

"Our mission is to help the elected government in Iraq defeat common enemies, to bring peace and stability to Iraq, and make our nation more secure. Our goals are unchanging. We are flexible in our methods to achieving those goals."

Mr. Bush says that the coalition is working with the Iraqi government to improve the performance of its security forces:

"We are refining our training strategy for the Iraqi security forces so we can help more of those forces take the lead in the fight, and provide them better equipment and firepower to be successful. We've increased the number of coalition advisors in the Iraqi ministries of defense and interior so they can better plan and execute security operations against the enemy."

But, says Mr. Bush, "a military solution alone will not stop violence":

"In the end, the Iraqi people and their government will have to make the difficult decisions to solve these problems. . . .We're also working to help the Iraqi government achieve a political solution that brings together Shia and Sunnis and Kurds and other ethnic and religious groups."

The outcome in Iraq "will determine the destiny of millions of people," says Mr. Bush. He says, "Defeating terrorists and extremists is the challenge of our time."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.