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Mullen Points Out Progress in Iraq
American Forces Press Service ^ | Jim Garamone

Posted on 12/18/2009 5:09:11 PM PST by SandRat

TALIL, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2009 – Iraq has made remarkable progress in a short while, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a news conference here today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with U.S. Navy sailors assigned to Riverine Squadron Three after an all hands call, Basra, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2009. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen praised Iraqi citizens and American civilian and military personnel for their hard work and sacrifice. The chairman also expressed his condolences to all Iraqis for the deaths in a recent series of bombings in Baghdad.

“At the heart of this is al-Qaida still at work in Iraq,” Mullen said. With national elections scheduled March 7, he added, unity is important in the face of attacks designed to derail progress. He noted the Iraqi government is investigating the explosions and will take appropriate steps.

“What I’m encouraged by for all these major attacks is there has been no response and outbreak of sectarian violence,” the admiral said. “I don’t underestimate the challenges, and I think everybody needs to be focused on this so the elections can be free and fair and representative of the democracy that Iraq has become.”

Mullen spoke to American and Iraqi reporters after concluding a meeting with Iraqi security and legal leaders and provincial reconstruction team leaders. He said the meeting pointed to work that still must be done. “And that work would focus on Iraq becoming even more stable,” he said.

The U.S. drawdown plan is still in place, Mullen said, and he expects the American personnel will begin to leave soon after the elections.

The United States will continue to fund infrastructure projects in Iraq centering on water and electricity, the admiral said. U.S. trainers also will work in advance of the Iraqi elections to help in training security forces for the important event.

The withdrawal will not mean the end of the relationship between the United States and Iraq, the chairman emphasized. “That relationship will be focused on a very strong partnership, and the United States will never forget Iraq,” he said.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: frwn; iraq; mullen; progress

1 posted on 12/18/2009 5:09:13 PM PST by SandRat
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To: MozartLover; Old Sarge; Jemian; repubmom; 91B; HiJinx; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; ...
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.


2 posted on 12/18/2009 5:09:57 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

March 2007: Obama: “Even those who are supporting — but here’s the thing, Larry — even those who support the escalation have acknowledged that 20,000, 30,000, even 40,000 more troops placed temporarily in places like Baghdad are not going to make a long-term difference.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 3/19/07)

May 2007: Obama “And what I know is that what our troops deserve is not just rhetoric, they deserve a new plan. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe that the course that we’re on in Iraq is working, I do not.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks To The Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists Convention, Chicago, IL, 5/25/07)

July 2007: Obama “My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.” (NBC’s “The Today Show,” 7/18/07)

September 2007 Obama: “I’ve had a bill in since January that would begin bringing our troops home in a responsible, careful way. And it is my belief that if the president continues on this course, we are going to continue to have the same problems that we’ve had.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Univision Democrat Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/9/07)

November 2007: Obama “Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn’t withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a search and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we’re actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 11/11/07)

3 posted on 12/18/2009 5:13:28 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: SandRat

The Surge isn’t working!

Pray for America and Our Troops

4 posted on 12/18/2009 5:21:55 PM PST by bray (Palin can see the White House from her Porch)
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