"This situation cannot be resolved by military forces alone," Chiarelli said. "And I know that is uncomfortable for a lot of people, both in and out of uniform, who were raised on the concepts of destroying a certain portion of the enemy's forces and declaring victory. This conflict will take all efforts, in governments, economic development, and transition, working together."
Chiarelli's comments are the first by a senior commander in Iraq since the release of the Iraq Study Group report earlier this week.
That bipartisan panel called for a more rapid military transition to Iraqi control and a withdrawal of most U.S. combat forces by the first quarter of 2008.
The Imam Al-Mahdi Army on parade (epa)
HAS THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ BECOME A CIVIL WAR? Many observers have concluded that the tit-for-tat sectarian violence that emerged after the February 2006 bombing of a mosque in Samarra has become a full-blown civil war.... (more)
U.S. Media Starts Using 'Civil War' Label
Iraqi Prime Minister Under Fire From All Sides
U.S. Expert Discusses Prospects For Stabilization
President Says Iraq Needs Iran's Help
Saudi Arabia To Seal Off Border With Security Fence
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.