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White House Plan For Victory In Iraq


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There is a strong consensus building in Washington in favor of President Bush's strategy for victory in Iraq. As the Iraqi security forces gain strength and experience, we can lessen our troop presence in the country without losing our capability to effectively defeat the terrorists. Today, Sen. Biden described a plan remarkably similar to the Administration's plan to fight and win the war on terror. We welcome Sen. Biden's voice in the debate. We are pleased he shares our view that the way to a democratic and peaceful Iraq is through aggressively training Iraqi police and soldiers, rebuilding the country's infrastructure and forging political compromises between Iraqi factions." -- Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary



Today, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) Wrote That "There Is A Broad Consensus On What Must Be Done" To Win In Iraq: "There is a broad consensus on what must be done to preserve our interests. Recently, 79 Democratic and Republican senators told President Bush we need a detailed, public plan for Iraq, with specific goals and a timetable for achieving each one." (Sen. Biden, Op-Ed, "Time For An Iraq Timetable," The Washington Post, 11/26/05)


The Fact Is That The Senate Amendment Reiterates The President's Strategy In Iraq.


The Senate Amendment Says Iraqi Security Forces Should Take The Lead In Securing Their Country. "Calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq; United States military forces should not stay in Iraq any longer than required and the people of Iraq should be so advised." (S.Amdt. 2518 To S. 1042, CQ Vote #323: Adopted 79-19: R 41-13; D 37-6; I 1-0, 11/15/05)


Sen. Biden Says "Iraqi Forces" Must Be Trained To "Act On Their Own Or Take The Lead With U.S. Help": "The president must set a schedule for getting Iraqi forces trained to the point that they can act on their own or take the lead with U.S. help. We should take up other countries on their offers to do more training, especially of officers. We should focus on getting the security ministries up to speed. Even well-trained troops need to be equipped, sustained and directed. (Sen. Biden, Op-Ed, "Time For An Iraq Timetable," The Washington Post, 11/26/05)


The President Has Said Iraqi Security Forces Are Taking More And More Responsibility For Their Own Security.


President Bush Discussed The Strategy To Train Iraqi Forces To "Stand Up" So America Can "Stand Down." PRESIDENT BUSH: "As we pursue the terrorists, we have a strategy to go forward. Our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so they can defend their people and take the fight to the enemy. And we're making steady progress. With every passing month, more and more Iraqi forces are standing up, and the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence. At the time of our Fallujah operations just a year ago, there were only a few Iraqi army battalions in combat. Today, there are nearly 90 Iraqi army battalions fighting the terrorists alongside our forces. American and Iraqi troops are conducting major assaults to clear out enemy fighters in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Iraqi police and security forces are helping clear the terrorists from their strongholds, hold on to the areas we've cleared, and prevent the enemy from returning. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. And when our commanders on the ground tell me that the Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned." (President Bush, Remarks On The War On Terror, Anchorage, AK, 11/14/05)


Lieutenant General David Petraeus: "Well, Here's The Bottom Line Up-Front For You. The Iraqi Security Forces Are In The Fight; They Are Fighting For Their Country. They Are, As This Notes, Increasingly Leading That Fight." (Lt. General David Petraeus, Remarks On "Iraq's Evolving Forces," Washington, D.C., 11/7/05)


After Returning From Iraq, CNN Military Analyst Retired Major General Don Shepperd Said Iraqi Forces Are Taking Charge. SHEPPERD: "The Iraqi forces are ready to protect the polling places. They're ready. They're starting to get ready in various areas. For instance, 20 percent of the territory of Baghdad has already been turned over to Iraqi forces. You're starting to see that spread slowly as they come up to speed. When they come up to speed, they are matched with U.S. forces, and then they are given their own territory. All of that appears to me to be working. It's slow, tough work, and we'll be there for a while helping them." (CNN's "Live From," 10/11/05)


Iraqi Army Is More And More In The Fight: "As of September, 120 Iraqi Police and Army battalions are in the fight. In addition to a fully independent battalion: 80 battalions are able to fight alongside Coalition troops. 36 battalions generally able to conduct independent operations. SNAPSHOT: Two brigades of the Iraqi 6th Division have their own battle space in Baghdad, including Haifa Street, once a haven for insurgents. As of September, one division, 5 brigades, and 36 battalions currently have the lead in their areas in Iraq. This summer, only one division and 11 battalions had the lead." (Department of Defense, Iraq Progress Update, 11/15/05 http://joewilson.house.gov/UploadedFiles/1...q%20Update.ppt)

Sen. Biden Says "We Must Forge...Political Compromise Between Iraqi Factions": "Over the next six months, we must forge a sustainable political compromise between Iraqi factions, strengthen the Iraqi government and bolster reconstruction efforts, and accelerate the training of Iraqi forces. First, we need to build political consensus, starting with the constitution. Sunnis must accept that they no longer rule Iraq. But unless Shiites and Kurds give them a stake in the new deal, they will continue to resist. We must help produce a constitution that will unite Iraq, not divide it." (Sen. Biden, Op-Ed, "Time For An Iraq Timetable," The Washington Post, 11/26/05)


The Senate Amendment Says Iraqis Should Achieve A "Broad-Based And Sustainable Political Settlement." "The Administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq, within the schedule they set for themselves." (S.Amdt. 2518 To S. 1042, CQ Vote #323: Adopted 79-19: R 41-13; D 37-6; I 1-0, 11/15/05)


The President Has Discussed The Incredible Progress Iraqis Are Making Toward Democracy Through A Broad-Based Political Process


The President Discussed The Strategy To Build A Lasting Democracy In Iraq. PRESIDENT BUSH: "And the second part of our strategy is a political strategy. Iraqis are making inspiring progress toward building a democracy. A month ago, millions of Iraqis turned out to vote for a constitution that guarantees fundamental freedoms and lays the foundation for a lasting democracy. In a few weeks, Iraqis will vote again, to choose a fully constitutional government to lead them for the next four years. This country is making amazing progress from the days of being under the thumb of a brutal tyrant. In two-and-a-half years, they've gone from tyranny, to an election for a transitional government, to the ratification of a constitution, to the election of a free government. It's amazing progress when you think about it. The Iraqi people are proving their determination to build a future founded on democracy and peace. And the United States of America will help them succeed." (President Bush, Remarks On The War On Terror, Anchorage, AK, 11/14/05)


Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice Outlined America's Strategy For "A Political Transition To A Permanent, Constitutional Democracy." SEC. RICE: "In 2005, we emphasized transition: a security transition to greater reliance on Iraqi forces and a political transition to a permanent, constitutional democracy. The just-concluded referendum was a landmark in that process. And now we are preparing for 2006. First we must help Iraqis as they hold another vital election in December. Well over nine million Iraqis voted on Sunday. Whether Iraqis voted yes or no, they were voting for an Iraqi nation, and for Iraqi democracy. And all their voices, pro and con, will be heard again in December. If the referendum passes, those who voted no this time will realize that their chosen representatives can then participate in the review of the constitution that was agreed upon last week. This process will ultimately lead to Iraqis selecting a lasting government, for a four year term." (Sec. Rice, Committee On Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, 10/19/05)

Sen. Biden Says Iraq Is "Barely Functional": "Second, we must build Iraq's governing capacity and overhaul the reconstruction program. Iraq's ministries are barely functional. Sewage in the streets, unsafe drinking water and a lack of electricity are all too common. With 40 percent unemployment in Iraq, insurgents do not lack for fresh recruits."


Sen. Biden Ignores Real Progress In Iraq: "Infrastructure improvements up to September 2005: 3,404 Public Schools, 304 Water and Sewage Projects, 257 Fire and Police Stations, 149 Health Facilities, Total of 4,114 reconstruction projects completed with 921 ongoing." (Department of Defense, Iraq Progress Update, 11/15/05 http://joewilson.house.gov/UploadedFiles/1...q%20Update.ppt)

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Guest The White House

Our mission in Iraq is clear. We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.

- President George W. Bush, June 28, 2003


Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages


Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.


Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest


Iraq is the central front in the global war on terror. Failure in Iraq will embolden terrorists and expand their reach; success in Iraq will deal them a decisive and crippling blow.


The fate of the greater Middle East -- which will have a profound and lasting impact on American security -- hangs in the balance. Failure is Not an Option


Iraq would become a safe haven from which terrorists could plan attacks against America, American interests abroad, and our allies.


Middle East reformers would never again fully trust American assurances of support for democracy and human rights in the region -- a historic opportunity lost.


The resultant tribal and sectarian chaos would have major consequences for American security and interests in the region.


The Enemy Is Diffuse and Sophisticated.


The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. Distinct but integrated strategies are required to defeat each element.


Each element shares a common short-term objective -- to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down -- but has separate and incompatible long-term goals.


Exploiting these differences within the enemy is a key element of our strategy.


Our Strategy for Victory is Clear


We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing an integrated strategy along three broad tracks, which together incorporate the efforts of the Iraqi government, the Coalition, cooperative countries in the region, the international community, and the United Nations.


The Political Track involves working to forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic governance by helping the Iraqi government:


Isolate enemy elements from those who can be won over to the political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to all Iraqis that they have a stake in a democratic Iraq;


Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of participation; and

Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq's full integration into the international community.


The Security Track involves carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency, developing Iraqi security forces, and helping the Iraqi government:


Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven;


Hold areas freed from enemy influence by ensuring that they remain under the control of the Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence; and Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.


The Economic Track involves setting the foundation for a sound and self-sustaining economy by helping the Iraqi government:


Restore Iraq's infrastructure to meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy;


Reform Iraq's economy, which in the past has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future; and


Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.


This Strategy is Integrated and its Elements are Mutually Reinforcing

Progress in each of the political, security, and economic tracks reinforces progress in the other tracks.


For instance, as the political process has moved forward, terrorists have become more isolated, leading to more intelligence on security threats from Iraqi citizens, which has led to better security in previously violent areas, a more stable infrastructure, the prospect of economic progress, and expanding political participation.


Victory Will Take Time


Our strategy is working: Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including the removal of Saddam's tyranny, negotiation of an interim constitution, restoration of full sovereignty, holding of free national elections, formation of an elected government, drafting of a permanent constitution, ratification of that constitution, introduction of a sound currency, gradual restoration of neglected infrastructure, the ongoing training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, and the increasing capability of those forces to take on the terrorists and secure their nation.


Yet many challenges remain: Iraq is overcoming decades of a vicious tyranny, where governmental authority stemmed solely from fear, terror, and brutality.

It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power.


Our comprehensive strategy will help Iraqis overcome remaining challenges, but defeating the multi-headed enemy in Iraq -- and ensuring that it cannot threaten Iraq's democratic gains once we leave -- requires persistent effort across many fronts.


Our Victory Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions Based


With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain.

No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one.

But lack of a timetable does not mean our posture in Iraq (both military and civilian) will remain static over time. As conditions change, our posture will change.


We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience.


While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize.

Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.

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Guest By George I think he's got i

I loved it when President Bush told a group of midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, that "our freedom and our way of life are in your hands."



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest John Murtha

Dear Joe,


America wants and deserves real answers on Iraq: What is the clear definition of success? Is there a plan? How much longer and how many more lives? In short, what is the end game?


Because we in Congress are charged with overseeing the safety of our sons and daughters when the president sends them into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation to speak out for them. This obligation has not been met. That's why I am speaking out now.


I offered a concrete plan to get our troops out of harm's way, where they have become the target. I don't expect every member of Congress to agree with my specific proposal in this debate - but I do expect them to take part in that debate, not to squash it.


I am asking you to join me in demanding a real discussion of the war in Iraq from the U.S. House of Representatives.


Tell Congress to Have an Honest Debate For the Safety of Our Troops.


For too long Congress has counted itself out of any real debate on Iraq policy. We didn't talk about troop levels, even after the White House fired General Shinseki because he complained the levels were too low. One problem we encountered was the lack of proper training for our troops; service members were placed to guard the prisons but weren't trained; consequently we had Abu Ghraib, and no action from Congress. And if you look at the casualties, they have doubled since then. It's time to change our course - we can't just sit back any longer.


I've taken a lot of trips to Iraq. When I came back from my last one, I had become convinced we were making no progress at all. This can't be Republican and Democrat. It can't be recrimination one way or the other. We have to work this thing out, and we can't let a real solution get caught in the crossfire of an understandably heated political fight.


It's time for a serious conversation, not more rhetoric.


Tell Congress to Have an Honest Debate For the Safety of Our Troops.


The past few weeks have had a lot of firsts for me. I have never sought out the spotlight, or even taken the lead in a House floor debate the way I did a few weeks ago. And I've never signed an email like this before. But I see the beginning of a debate that is long overdue, and we can't afford to let it get overtaken by talking points or the news cycle.


I'm offering this petition, which will be delivered to Speaker of the House in order to keep our Congress focused where it should have been all along. I hope you'll sign if you agree.


Tell Congress to Have an Honest Debate For the Safety of Our Troops.




John Murtha

Pennsylvania's 12th District

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