Richard Melson

September 2006

Iraq: Anbar

ce_pao_watch_officer@cemnf-iraq.usmc.mil

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Multi-National Forces – West

Press Release

Public Affairs Office Camp Fallujah, Iraq

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2006

Release No. 20060912-01

Statement on the Status of Al Anbar Province by:

Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer

FALLUJAH, Iraq – Recent media reports fail to accurately capture the entirety and complexity of the current situation in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. The classified assessment, which has been referred to in these reports, was intended to focus on the causes of the insurgency. It was not intended to address the positive effects Coalition and Iraqi forces have achieved on the security environment over the past years.

That said, there is an active insurgency in Anbar. The enemy we face has no concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people, nor any peaceful vision for their future. We believe the Iraqi people want something more and are willing to fight and die for it.

We are making steady progress in the accomplishment of our primary mission to train and develop the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat the insurgency. This is due in large measure to the successful recruiting and training of thousands of Iraqi Police and improvements in the overall capabilities of the Iraqi Army. This has resulted in the transfer of increasing responsibilities to the ISF for fighting the insurgency. Finally, the progress we have made has been due to the dedicated and heroic actions of both US and Iraqi forces.

Despite these consistent advances in the security environment, we have found making the same progress politically and economically, throughout all of Anbar, to be much more challenging. In areas where the presence of Iraqi Security Forces is combined with an effective local civil government, we have seen progress made. Not just in the area of security, but in economic development and the establishment of social order and public services. These are the conditions which must be set that will result in the support of the local people, and ultimately cause the defeat of this terrorist backed insurgency.

For lasting progress to take place, comparably effective advances must be made in the development of governmental and economic institutions at the local, provincial and national levels. Only then, will the people of Al Anbar be able to realize their goal of long-term security, prosperity and confidence in their government.

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FORCES-WEST, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE BY E-MAIL AT

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Statement on the Status of Al Anbar Province by Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer

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MNC-I PAO Victory Main JOC

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006