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Mr. GIBSON. I thank the lady.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the resolution. I served in Iraq when it was hard and unpopular, and I thank God that I live in a country that had the intestinal fortitude to see it through.
This year, we're going to complete our objectives in Iraq, and the remaining 48,000 troops that are there are going to come home. There's going to be a small contingent, about 150 or so, that are going to move underneath the Embassy, but we will have completed our objectives and Iraq will be stable and friendly.
Now, Afghanistan is different from Iraq, but our approach should be similar. The surge has accomplished its primary aim, to seize the initiative from the Taliban. But now we need to finish the job of building out the institution, the security and the civil institutions.
I'm recently back from Afghanistan, and I had an opportunity to meet the leadership there. I feel confident we've got the right plan going forward. And I support the President's plan, the President's plan to begin withdrawal this year and to complete combat operations by 2014, because I believe this plan will stabilize Afghanistan and help protect our cherished way of life, preventing al Qaeda from regaining sanctuary.
Now going forward, I think we need to learn from these experiences. Some comments were made here earlier about us, whether or not we're a Republic or an empire. I share those concerns and those sentiments. We're a Republic, and we need to learn from these experiences. But we need to see this through. We need to stand with our Commander in Chief. We need to stand with our troops. Complete this task.
And then finally let me say that I join all today on both sides of the aisle who honor our service men and women who have fell in the line of battle. We pray for their souls. We pray for their families. We remember those wounded in battle, those who bear physical scars. Those who bear no physical scars who are emotionally scarred, we pray for them. We honor them.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
Mr. GIBSON. And let me say this: That going forward, that this body, whether it be this issue or any issue, that this body and that this country shall be worthy of the sacrifices of our service men and women.
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