But the truth of the matter is that there is there is an opportunity for them to participate in the economic and political future of the country and certainly in the security life of the country.
Every American soldier wants as much public support as he can possibly have. That's the soldiers on duty in Iraq, and that's me, as well. We fight better knowing that our people back home support us, back us, and understand what we're doing. It's hugely important.
So, these political activities will create friction in and of themselves, and in this environment of friction there'll be additional violence.
Well, the reports are correct that we're conducting very robust military operations on the Afghan side of the border in areas where we think al-Qaida is operating and Taliban remnants are.
Morale is good; troops are confident; leaders are capable.
I don't believe Iran is a suicide state.
Nobody's more mindful of the sacrifices of our troops than those of us that command them.
The power to prevent violence is a power that no police force seems to have anywhere in the United States.
Certainly our goal is to leave Iraq, but we can't leave Iraq with our forces until we know that the Iraqi security forces are capable and efficient enough to defend the sovereignty of the nation.
I think you also understand that one of the key things that's got to be done in Iraq is to build a mentality of understanding that the military needs to be subordinate to civilian control and respectful of its own people.
In other words, for every 10 enemy you kill you bring on 20 new recruits to their anti-coalition cause then essentially you are working against yourself.
But my Arabic is pretty good. It's good enough to have conversations with people, to understand what they say, to understand what they're feeling.
Everybody needs to understand that I learned Arabic from the United States Army as a second language. I never spoke it at home.
I think what actually works best is local-level individual targeting of key leadership nodes.
Well, the hardest thing to do, as we know from our own experience on 9/11 is protect everything all the time.
You don't build a new power plant in the United States overnight. It takes years to build.
You know as well as I do that counterinsurgency is a very nuanced type of military operation.
And so I think that if the person has the funds, the network, and the equipment to do this, and also the experience, which is the key factor, then they can be quite deadly.
Being on the run, having to change the way that you do business, being unable to plan in a safe and secure environment, always looking over your shoulder, knowing that some day somebody's going to knock on your door and it's going to be your last.
But all that having been said, you can't, in a city of a million people like Karbala, or 5 million like Baghdad, you can't be in all places at all times.