The WWS has learned that House Republican Leader John Boehner has arrived in Iraq this morning, leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation. Fresh on the heels of the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, the delegation is there to review the facts on the ground for themselves.
Mr. Boehner will issue the following statement:
My Republican colleagues and I have said throughout the year that it is our duty to listen to the commanders on the ground as we make key decisions on the next steps in Iraq. This congressional delegation visit will give us the opportunity to listen to them in person and see firsthand how General Petraeus' strategy has laid the foundation for important security and political gains ahead.
Our troops have made irrefutable progress against al Qaeda in Iraq but, as General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker reported to Congress this week, there is still much work to be done - particularly when it comes to political reconciliation. Though reconciliation has begun to take hold in towns and villages across Iraq, everyone - Democrats and Republicans alike - hopes Iraqis will make progress more quickly on a national basis. It is my hope that this trip will give us a chance to see the challenges that lie ahead, while gaining a greater appreciation for the significant strides our troops have made under Operation Phantom Thunder.
Most importantly, this trip will give us a chance to thank our troops for their efforts in Iraq and service to our country. Our men and women in uniform have joined with Iraqi Forces in taking the fight to al Qaeda and brought greater stability and security in Iraq. It is now our responsibility to make a bipartisan commitment to solidify those gains and bring our troops home after victory, not defeat.