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US Making Progress in Iraq and War on Terror


Top U.S. officials say progress is being made in Iraq and in the war against terrorism. As Amy Katz reports, they also say neither can be won on the battlefield alone.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says America's armed forces have become more agile and more capable, but the wars the U.S. is fighting cannot be won only by using military force.

"We need to find ways to win the ideological battle as well; to convince people who might otherwise be attracted to the message of violent extremism, that there is a better way of life, and that free political and free economic systems are forces for good in the world, which indeed they are, not as the enemy would suggest -- responsible for the plight of people who have needs and hopes and aspirations that are as yet unachieved," said the secretary.

Rumsfeld adds that every effort to demonstrate the depth of America's compassion and generosity -- like the current U.S. effort to aid in mudslide recovery efforts in the Philippines -- is an important step in the war on terror.

The Pentagon recently admitted it was using another tactic to win hearts and minds -- paying for positive news coverage in Iraq. Last Friday, Secretary Rumsfeld said he had ordered that to be stopped. But when he was asked about it at a Pentagon briefing Tuesday, he said he had misspoken. "It was put under review, and I don't have knowledge as to whether or not it has been stopped. I do have knowledge that it was put under review, and I was correctly informed, and I just mis-stated the facts"

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, says the emergence of democracy in Iraq is proving to be an effective tool in the battle against insurgents there.

"[It is] difficult to know specifically how many insurgents still remain,” said the general. “What is knowable is that the more and more Iraqis who believe that their government will provide a future for them that will be beneficial for them and their families, the fewer and fewer will feel a need to accept payment, so to speak, for attacking."

The Deputy Director of Plans and Strategy for U.S. Central Command, Brigadier General Mark Kimmett, says right now the military is doing most of the work in the fight against al-Qaida and other terror organizations with ties to it.

"To defeat this enemy it is far more than simply the military,” said General Kimmett. “It will take a network -- interagency network, international network -- that brings together Department of the Treasury, brings together the State Department, brings together all the intelligence agencies, brings together all of our law enforcement agencies, so that we can develop a network, both here in America, and internationally, to fight this network and defeat this network."

General Kimmett says the U.S. needs such a strong network, to fight against the al-Qaida network, which he says is transnational, borderless and is not bound by any rules.