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WASHINGTON — Gen. Richard Myers said the Iraq insurgency is operating at about the same level as a year ago, but he still feels coalition forces are making progress in their efforts to secure the country.

“I think we are winning, and I think we’ve been winning for some time,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at a press conference Tuesday. “If you look just at the attacks, I think that’s a poor measure of our progress.”

Coalition forces are reporting between 50 and 60 attacks a day, roughly the same number as April 2004. Myers said he doesn’t believe recent increases in those ambushes indicate another surge of activity, or that the insurgency is getting stronger.

Myers pointed to the January Iraq elections and the increased responsibilities of Iraq security forces as signs of improvement.

When asked by reporters why the attacks hadn’t decreased if coalition forces had been making progress, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the situation in Iraq is too complicated to judge solely on attack numbers. He added that coalition forces have committed more troops to training activities in recent months and left more anti-insurgency work to the new Iraqi security forces.

“What we have is a relatively small number of people who have weapons and who want to stop democracy,” he said of the terrorists.


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