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Myers sees Iraq war vital to terror effort

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said winning the war in Iraq is vital to averting additional terror attacks on the United States.

"This is a handful of folks who are willing to do despicable acts in the name of extremism," Myers said, referring to terror-linked groups based in Iraq in a Pentagon briefing, USA Today reported Tuesday.

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Myers said the United States' involvement in Iraq and the war on terror needs the continued support of the American people, who need to remember just what a threat groups such as al-Qaida represent.

He said Iraq was al-Qaida's "center of gravity," USA Today reported, and a U.S. military withdrawal before Iraqi forces are ready to keep peace would be a mistake.

"My view is, if terrorism wins in Iraq, the next 9/11 is right around the corner," Myers said.

Myers ends his term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he's held since 2001, Friday. He'll be replaced by Marine Gen. Peter Pace.

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