General Explains Why Iraq Is the 'Long War'

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt gave a lecture Thursday at The Heritage Foundation on the situation in Iraq and why the war we are fighting is the “long war.” Kimmitt serves as Deputy Director for plans and policy, U. S. Central Command. He was given a warm and respectful welcome by James Carafano, Senior Research Fellow for National Security and Homeland Security, who said Kimmitt is a true servant of the nation and a courageous and brave soldier.

Kimmitt began his lecture by noting the meaningful progress taking place in Iraq. He stated that Iraq and Afghanistan are parts of the problem, but not the whole problem. Terrorism is a network, and Kimmitt believes it will take a network to defeat a network.

The principle needed for this war on terror include the network strategy, where Kimmitt says the State Department, the Defense Department and U.S intelligence agencies all need to work together in this fight. He says it is not just a military war, and the U.S needs to fight with all elements of national power.

When asked about the current issues in Iraq this past week, Kimmitt said that the bombing of the Golden Mosque was “clearly an attempt to incite civil war” but believes that Iraqis know what is going on and that this looked like an al-Qaeda attack. Contrary to some media reports there were 16 attacks in Baghdad lastr Thursday not the reported 60+.

As for the future of this long war, Kimmitt stressed that there is no exit strategy and that the war is generational, beginning long before September 11, 2001. The goal is to lower ground troops, but the key is finding a balance–one where troops can be reduced but still remain a clear deterrent.