debkafile: This vow does not limit US military operations to Iraqi territory. Bush stated: “I recently ordered the deployment of additional carrier strike group in the region. We will…deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.”
This indicates that the US expects Iran and Syria to retaliate with missile attacks on US targets across the Middle East and against “friends” such as Turkey the Arab emirates and Israel.
Here is the gist of the long-awaited speech delivered Wednesday, Jan 10:
US president George W. Bush noted that 80% of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. The Iraqi government has put forward an aggressive plan to deal with it. Efforts to secure Baghdad failed in the past for insufficient Iraq and American troops to secure neighborhoods cleared of terrorists and insurgents. “Our military commanders report that the new plan ensures past mistakes… and can work”
The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for the capital, deploying Iraqi Army and national police brigades across its nine districts. Eighteen of these brigades will be committed. For the Iraqi commitment to succeed, “I have committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq” – five brigades deployed in Baghdad. Their mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, protect the local population and ensure the Iraqi forces left behind can provide security. This time, unlike the past, “we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas cleared.” This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods and prime minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
President Bush stressed that succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria, “which allow terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq.” He accused Iran of providing material support for attacks on American troops. “We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support form Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq,” Bush stressed.
“I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group in the region,” said the president. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve border problems. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.”
Bush also reported orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops to step up the pressure on the terrorists. “They will not be allowed to re-establish in Iraq the haven they lost in Afghanistan.
In keeping with the Iraq Study Group recommendations, embedding of US advisers in Iraqi Army units will be increased, training of Iraq forces will be accelerated and US commanders given greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance.
America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people. This strategy will succeed over time and must go beyond military operations. Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis and is committed to spend $10 million of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure.
The US president added: “Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of congress, we will form a new bipartisan working group to help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active army and Marine Corps to meet the needs of the 21st century.”