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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2006 Secretary Rice's Remarks > April 2006: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Interview With James Rosen, FOX

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Baghdad, Iraq
April 26, 2006

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you for this opportunity. The New York Times insinuated today that there is "an air of tension" between you and Secretary Rumsfeld and that this contributed to the decision to have the two of you come here today. I'm actually quoting from Steve Weisman's piece. Have you had difficulties in your relationship with Secretary Rumsfeld?

SECRETARY RICE: Secretary Rumsfeld and I have an excellent relationship. We're working very hard together. We're actually having a great time here in Iraq. I think it's very stimulating for us both to be in these meetings with Iraq's leaders together. We can take a look at the nexus between political and military issues because after all, the security issues here have both a political and a military aspect. We had a meeting with the embassy and with some of the key military people. And this is a great opportunity for us to make sure that we have all the seams knit up and that we are fully ready to support this Iraq Government. But, no, the Secretary and I have an excellent relationship and we're having a great time here in Iraq.

QUESTION: If you were giving advice to a future American administration that would have to contend with an insurgency, what would be the hardest learned lessons that you've learned from contending with this one? And what would be the best tactical advice that you would give them? I know you've often talked about the political process as the best antidote to an insurgency. But from a tactical perspective, what advice would you give that administration?

SECRETARY RICE: I don't think there is any better advice concerning an insurgency than that it has to be defeated politically, not just militarily. And what we're seeing here is that the incorporation, the inclusion of Sunnis in this political process, by their own choice, they recognize, I think, that there was a mistake made in not engaging in the political process earlier, that now all Iraqis have a way to see the political process as the way to represent their interests not by violence. And in those circumstances, insurgencies tend to start to lose steam, because they don't have the political ground that feeds insurgency. And so it's a very hopeful sign to talk with the Sunnis who are now very integrated into the political process, have very senior roles in the new government and to expect that as a result -- not immediately, and I don't want to give the impression that the violence will end immediately -- but that over time the political process will come to be the way that Iraqis deal with their differences.

QUESTION: No tactical advice?

SECRETARY RICE: I consider the most important advice to get the politics right.

QUESTION: Thank you.


Released on April 26, 2006

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