General George Casey made his remarks today to journalists at the Pentagon via satellite from Iraq. He said Iraq's military should be able to start leading the fight against insurgents late next year.
However, he said that recent progress in Iraq does not mean that the insurgency there will "just go away."
"We should not expect the insurgency to just go away because of yesterday's great success but we should expect it to be gradually weakened and reduced as more and more Iraqis adopt the political process and the root causes of the insurgency are addressed by the new Iraqi government and by the coalition," he said.
The Multinational Force in Iraq on December 15, 2005, released official images of the voting in the legislative elections. To view a slideshow of their photographs, click on the image.
To see RFE/RL's special webpage about the election, click here.