Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the U.S. will soon move to put an end to the “no-go” zones that currently dot several areas in Iraq.
The U.S. military in Iraq will move into insurgent-filled “no-go zones” to stabilize them in advance of elections in January, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday.
The Bush administration is hoping free elections will help stabilize the country and build a sense of legitimacy for the new government.
Administration officials have acknowledged that violence in many parts of the country could make voting dangerous or perhaps even impossible in some places.
This move, while needed for the long-term success of the Iraqi venture, will most assuredly be bloody and may have an impact on the November U.S. elections. That said, it needs to be done despite this danger for the Bush administration.
“The major thrust of our political and military and diplomatic efforts over the next several months will be to make sure there are no ‘no-go zones,’” [Powell] added.
U.S.-led forces have been avoiding those areas of Iraq.
Powell said the military is putting together plans to “return these zones to government control.”
The man in charge of winning the war in Iraq, Gen. John Abizaid of U.S. Central Command, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “we will have to fight our way all the way through elections.”
He would not say where U.S. forces would go on the offensive.
“We never want to tip off our hands about what we want to do,” he said. “It’s clear, however, that, through a combination of political and military action, we will do whatever is necessary to bring areas of Iraq under the control of the Iraqi government … by the January elections.”
Best wishes to those men in uniform, be they American, Iraqi, or some of our other allies, in this endeavor. On a personal note, this is the kind of steadfastness I honestly don’t expect to see from a possible Kerry administration but it is exactly the kind needed in the long term for our nation’s security.