Rumsfeld says impossible to know if Iraq war has created more terrorists

Rumsfeld says impossible to know if Iraq war has created more terrorists
September 28th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Rumsfeld says impossible to know if Iraq war has created more terrorists

Rumsfeld says impossible to know if Iraq war has created more terrorists
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 28 September 2006

PORTOROZ, Slovenia_It is impossible to know with any precision whether the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created more terrorists than they've
killed, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday.

In his first extensive remarks about a recent U.S. intelligence report
saying the threat of terrorism has risen, Rumsfeld told reporters at a NATO
meeting that, in general, the value of intelligence reports can be uneven,
and "sometimes it's just flat wrong."

But he added that "the implication that if you stop killing or capturing
people who are trying to kill you, then therefore the world would be a
better place, is obviously nonsensical."

In the much-discussed National Intelligence Estimate initially reported last
weekend, the government's top analysts concluded that Iraq has become a
"cause celebre" for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic
reach. If the trend continues, they said, the risks to the U.S. interests at
home and abroad surely will grow.

Rumsfeld did not specifically criticize or address the controversial
intelligence report, but instead commented more broadly about the terrorist
question that has gripped the political world since the report was disclosed
last week.

"Are more terrorists being created in the world? We don't know. The world
doesn't know," said Rumsfeld, adding that there are no good ways to measure
"how many terrorists are being trained at camps around the world."

Disclosure of the classified report, and U.S. President George W. Bush's
subsequent move to make public portions of it, has had broad political

For Republicans, the report provides more evidence that Iraq is central to
the war on terrorism and can't be abandoned without giving jihadists a
crucial victory. And for Democrats, it furthers their argument that the 2003
Iraq invasion has inflamed anti-U.S. sentiment in the Muslim world and left
the U.S. less safe.

Rumsfeld said any specific comments on the report should come from Bush. But
he added that while it's hard to know how many terrorist are being created,
officials have a better idea how many have been killed or captured.

On Thursday the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq purportedly said in an audio
message posted online that more than 4,000 foreign militants have been
killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 _ the first apparent
acknowledgment from the insurgents about their losses.

Rumsfeld also said there are multiple groups of extremists whose goal is to
murder and terrorize free people and their goal is to topple any Muslim
regime that disagrees with them and replace them with extremists.

"Ultimately they will fail," said Rumsfeld, adding that "anyone who thinks
there is a single answer or a single reason, or a silver bullet that's going
to solve the problem can't be right, it's too complex. ... It's going to
take time and it's going to take a lot of work by people who are patient and
believe in freedom."

Rumsfeld was attending a NATO defense ministers meeting here. During the
meeting, the ministers approved extending NATO's control of military
operations across all of Afghanistan _ a move that Rumsfeld hailed as a
"bold step forward" for the alliance.

Under the new arrangements, as many as 12,000 additional American troops
will be put under foreign battlefield command, a number that U.S. officials
said could be the most since World War II.

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