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More Progress In Iraq

President George W. Bush said he has dispatched General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and General John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command, to brief members of Congress on operations in Iraq:

“The support of Congress for our troops and our mission is important and Americans need to know about the gains we have made in recent weeks and months, they need to know the way we’re adapting our tactics, and the way we’re changing our strategies to meet the needs on the ground.”

Mr. Bush said that the growing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces are helping the U.S.–led coalition address a challenge that has existed since the beginning of the war:

“[I]t used to be after we cleared the terrorists out of a city, there wasn't enough qualified Iraqi troops to maintain control, so when we left to conduct other missions, the terrorists would move back in. Now, the increasing number of more capable Iraqi troops has allowed us to better hold on to the cities we have taken from the terrorists. The Iraqi troops know their people, they know their language, and they know who the terrorists are. By leaving Iraqi units in the cities we've cleared out, we can keep the cities safe while we move on to hunt down the terrorists in other parts of the country.”

Mr. Bush said that more than one hundred Iraqi battalions are now operating throughout Iraq:

“Our commanders report that the Iraqi forces are operating with increasing effectiveness. As Iraqi forces show they're capable of keeping the terrorists out, they're earning the trust and confidence of the Iraqi people, which ensures the success of a free and democratic Iraq.”

On October 15th, the Iraqis will vote on a draft constitution. Mr. Bush said that the Iraqis want to be free, and they proved that when they voted to elect a new government earlier this year in the face of violence and threats. “[T]he terrorists," said President Bush, "are going to fail.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.