Bush Cites Security, Political, Economic Gains in Iraq
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2008 – The surge of forces has enabled the Iraqi government to realize security, political and economic gains, President Bush said today during a visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio.
“The surge is doing what it was designed to do,” Bush said. Last year’s deployment of about 30,000 extra U.S. troops to Iraq has provided security and breathing space so the Iraqi government can establish itself against its enemies, Bush said at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
The surge also has enabled the emergence of civil society in Iraq, Bush said.
Al Qaeda in Iraq’s back has been broken, Bush said. For example, Anbar province was considered lost to al Qaeda only 18 months ago, he pointed out. Yet today, attacks have plummeted in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, the president said.
“Al Qaeda has lost Anbar,” Bush said, noting the terrorist group had counted on using that province to launch operations to secure all of Iraq for its own ends.
Today, efforts are under way to dislodge al Qaeda from Mosul, Bush said. The president vowed that what was done to al Qaeda in Anbar province will be repeated in Mosul.
Iraq’s people have turned against the terrorists, Bush said, noting Iraqi families want peace and stability for their children, just as anyone else would.
Bush saluted Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s “bold decision” to send in Iraqi security forces into Basra to tamp down a spike of insurgent violence there. Maliki’s action “demonstrates to Iraqis that their government is committed to protecting them,” Bush said. The message, he said, is that no one is above the law.
“Terrorists and extremists in Iraq will know that they have no place in a free and democratic society,” Bush said.