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Iraq War 2002 - Briefing Rumsfeld & Myers Pt1/14 250073-10.mp4
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Uploaded on Feb 18, 2012
2002 - Military Briefing: Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld & Gen Richard Myers, 04Mar02] Pt. 1 of 14
00:48:55 Reporters seated, talking & waiting.
00:51:06 Rumsfeld & Myers onto stand.
00:51:15 Rumsfeld: "Good morning; a few comments first on the operation in Afghanistan over the weekend. General Franks will provide details from Tampa...
00:51:41 We need to all remind ourselves that thousands of Americans & other nationals were killed on September 11th. When we began the attack in Afghanistan on October 7th, we made clear that our goals included removing the Taliban government & ending Afghanistan as a haven for terrorists, & we've made very good progress on both. But as I've said repeatedly, the task is far from over. Not all Taliban & al Qaeda forces have been defeated. Substantial pockets of resistance remain. They're determined. They're dangerous. They will not give up without a fight. They are hiding in the villages & in the mountains & just across the borders, in a number of directions from Afghanistan, & they're waiting for their opportunities. We have said that repeatedly. Their goal is the opposite of ours. Their goal is to reconstitute, to try to throw out the new interim government of Afghanistan, to kill coalition forces & to try regain the ability to use Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations &, as a by-product, repress the Afghan people. And we intend to prevent them from doing that.
The pocket of al Qaeda at Shahi-Kot area, where this operation is taking place, south of Gardez, appears to have several, a number of pockets of enemy forces, in reasonably large numbers. They're obviously well organized. They're dug in, they're well armed, & they're fighting fiercely. We knew they would resist strongly, & anticipated a fierce fight. That was -- that is exactly what's taking place. Together w/ a number of coalition countries that include Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway & some others, U.S. & Afghan forces are heavily engaged.
00:53:49 I deeply regret that a number of U.S. servicemen & several Afghan fighters assisting us have been killed in action. At last count, there were nine Americans. That includes those that were involved in the helicopter crash. And there have been several Afghans as well. There have been a number of wounded U.S. & Afghans, although close to half of those are already back in the battlel; & of the remainder, relatively few have life-threatening wounds. All of the individuals who were killed & wounded have been fully evacuated from the area & are en route to appropriate locations to receive medical attention.
00:54:46 We also mourn the loss of the U.S. Navy pilot who was killed after ejecting from his aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea. His battlegroup is en route to Northern Arabian Sea for service in Operation Enduring Freedom. We're deeply saddened by the loss of all these brave men, & I extend my profound sympathies to their families.
00:55:12 The enemy forces have sustained much larger numbers of killed & wounded; & there will be many more. We intend to continue the operations until those al Qaeda & Taliban who remain either surrender or are killed. The choice is theirs. We have ground forces in position to check any large-scale effort to escape & we will continue to add pressure until they have been taken care of. As I said, General Franks will have the current details on the operation at his briefing in the afternoon. Continued...
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