Tuesday, June 14, 2005
KR: Officers admit no Iraq military solution
-----by Tom Lasseter
Military Action Won't End Insurgency, Growing Number of US Officers Believe
BAGHDAD - The recognition that a military solution is not in the offing has led U.S. and Iraqi officials to signal they are willing to negotiate with insurgent groups, or their intermediaries.
"It has evolved in the course of normal business," said a senior U.S. diplomatic official in Baghdad, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of U.S. policy to defer to the Iraqi government on Iraqi political matters. "We have now encountered people who at least claim to have some form of a relationship with the insurgency."
The message is markedly different from previous statements by U.S. officials who spoke of quashing the insurgency by rounding up or killing "dead enders" loyal to former dictator Saddam Hussein. As recently as two weeks ago, in a Memorial Day interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Vice President Dick Cheney said he believed the insurgency was in its "last throes."
But the violence has continued unabated, even though 44 of the 55 Iraqis portrayed in the military's famous "deck of cards" have been killed or captured, including Saddam.
Lt. Col. Frederick P. Wellman, who works with the task force overseeing the training of Iraqi security troops, said the insurgency doesn't seem to be running out of new recruits, a dynamic fueled by tribal members seeking revenge for relatives killed in fighting.
"We can't kill them all," Wellman said. "When I kill one I create three."
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