Ten More Years! Ten More Years!
I don't know if we plan to be there for the duration of the insurgency but it certainly won't be over soon.
"The insurgency in Iraq is not likely to be put down in a year or even two since history shows such uprisings can last a decade or more, the United States' top military commander said on Friday.
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said that in the past century, insurgencies around the world have lasted anywhere from seven to 12 years, making a quick fix to the problem in Iraq unlikely.
'This is not the kind of business that can be done in one year, two years probably,' said Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council here.
Myers was filling in for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was scheduled to address the group but became ill after a long trip to Europe.
Myers said, however, that recent elections in Iraq were a sign that insurgents were not succeeding in their efforts to strike fear in the Iraqi people. American television was full of images in January of Iraqis whose fingers were stained with indelible ink after casting their ballots.
'They were sticking that ink-stained finger in the eye of the insurgents,' Myers told a packed ballroom at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
In Iraq, negotiations continued on Friday over who would lead the country's new government, talks made more complicated by delicate ethnic and sectarian issues.
'There is a lot of tension in the system politically ... which is a very good thing' for a new democracy, Myers said.
The new government is expected to make security an immediate focus. Three U.S. soldiers were killed and eight wounded in a roadside blast north of Baghdad on Friday, the military said.
'There's more and more thought both from religious circles and intellectual circles that (the insurgency) absolutely is unacceptable behavior,' Myers said. "