American forces are formally ending combat operations in Iraq today, what Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says is a “victory,” and he adds, it’s time to “move on.” Grassley says, “I think we’re all relieved that what we hoped to accomplish over there has been accomplished and that we’re able to withdraw and protect our troops and put emphasis on Afghanistan instead of a division between Iraq and Afghanistan for our attention.”
President Obama is scheduled to give an Oval Office address later today, discussing the end of the combat mission in Iraq and what comes next. Grassley says he’ll be listening to Obama’s speech.
“He can certainly claim credit but I hope he gives General Patraeus and President Bush, who brought about what we call the surge in Iraq, credit for their decisions,” Grassley says, “It would be kinda’ nice if he admitted that he was wrong when he spoke in the United States Senate against the surge.” While the combat mission is over, some 50,000 U.S. troops will be staying in Iraq for now, with their complete withdrawal scheduled for the end of 2011.
“It’s time for relief,” Grassley says. “It’s time to declare victory and move on, and the move on is Afghanistan, and hope we have the same success in Afghanistan under the same plan, under the same concept of a surge, and under the very capable leadership of General Patraeus.”
President Obama is flying to Fort Bliss in Texas this morning to personally thank some of the troops who fought in Iraq. That Army base was the embarking point for tens of thousands of soldiers who deployed to Iraq.