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Blackburn Commends Troops, Diplomats on Anniversary of the Iraq Surge


Location: Ankara, Turkey

Blackburn Commends Troops, Diplomats On Anniversary Of The Iraq Surge

In an address to the nation a year ago today, President Bush outlined a new strategy to contain violence and make political progress in Iraq. The "Surge" deployed additional combat forces and new teams of diplomats, appointed Ryan Crocker as U.S. Ambassador, and named General David Petraeus as commander of Multi-National Force Iraq.

Traveling on an official delegation to the Middle East with other Members of Congress, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) commented on the surge's success, and the way forward in Iraq.

"One year after President Bush announced the surge, I am pleased with the security progress that has been achieved. Former insurgents found common cause with our troops and are driving al Qaeda from Iraq. Because of their efforts, attacks per week in Iraq are down sixty percent since June, and civilian deaths have fallen by seventy-five percent. Iraqi provinces once besieged by violence are beginning to bustle with commerce."

Blackburn commended our forces for their achievements over the last year:

"Less than a year after they were deployed, surge brigades have begun to return home, as the number of U.S. forces in Iraq draws down. An Army Brigade Combat Team and a Marine Expeditionary Unit have already redeployed without replacement. They leave Iraq more secure than they found it. I commend them for their service and am grateful for their sacrifice."

Rep. Blackburn comments on the hard work ahead:

"The coming months are critical for the Government of Iraq. The hard work of our diplomats in Baghdad and their counterparts in the provinces has begun a process of grassroots reconciliation across Iraq. I urge the Maliki government to embrace that progress and turn it into meaningful political progress in Baghdad."

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