Victory in Iraq is defined in stages:
- Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
- Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
- Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.
Our Strategy for Victory is Clear
We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
To achieve this end, we are pursuing an integrated strategy along three broad tracks, which together incorporate the efforts of the Iraqi government, the Coalition, cooperative countries in the region, the international community, and the United Nations.
The Political Track involves working to forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic governance by helping the Iraqi government:
Isolate enemy elements from those who can be won over to the political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to all Iraqis that they have a stake in a democratic Iraq;
- Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of participation; and
- Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq's full integration into the international community.
The Security Track involves carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency, developing Iraqi security forces, and helping the Iraqi government:
- Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven;
- Hold areas freed from enemy influence by ensuring that they remain under the control of the Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence; and
- Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.
The Economic Track involves setting the foundation for a sound and self-sustaining economy by helping the Iraqi government:
Restore Iraq's infrastructure to meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy;
- Reform Iraq's economy, which in the past has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future; and
- Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.
Our Victory Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions Based
With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain. No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one.
But lack of a timetable does not mean our posture in Iraq (both military and civilian) will remain static over time. As conditions change, our posture will change.
We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience.
- While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize.
- Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.
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