Brig. Gen. Stephen Lanza lauds Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for focusing on rebuilding, rather than rushing to assign blame as he did in the wake of the Aug. 19 bombings.
The US military spokesman in Iraq says he is heartened by the Iraqi government's response to Sunday's devastating attacks against government ministries. But as the Iraqi government further tightened security in the capital, there were no answers as to how the suicide bombings could have taken place after the government vowed to overhaul security following a similar attack just two months ago.
"There was obviously some breach in security ... that allowed that to happen. We don't have all the details," says Brig. Gen. Stephen Lanza.
The death toll from the suicide bombings Sunday rose to more than 150 with hundreds more seriously wounded. Still, Lanza says that the government has responded more effectively to Sunday's bombings of the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad governorate than it did to the suicide truck bombings that hit the Foreign and Finance ministries and killed about 100 people on Aug. 19.
"We didn't see the finger-pointing that occurred after Aug. 19 ... the 'who's going to be fired?' and blaming other countries. You see a government that is much more pragmatic in its approach: 'We're going to launch an investigation. We're going to look at the intelligence to determine what happened, and we're going to take it from there,'" says Lanza.
Learning from the Aug. 19 bombings