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The White House, President George W. Bush

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 30, 2005

Fact Sheet: Training Iraqi Security Forces

Today's Presidential Action:

Today, President Bush Addressed The Midshipmen Of The Naval Academy On The Strategy For Victory In Iraq, The Central Front Of The War On Terror. President Bush discussed the steps being taken to train the Iraqi military and police and the progress being made as Iraqis stand up to protect their strengthening democracy.

The Administration Released The "National Strategy For Victory In Iraq." The United States is pursuing a comprehensive strategy in Iraq, and Americans should have a clear understanding of this strategy. Posted on the White House website, whitehouse.gov, this strategy document is available for all Americans to read.

The Enemy In Iraq

A Clear Strategy Begins With An Understanding Of The Enemy In Iraq. The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists.

Progress In Training Iraq Security Forces

To Defeat The Enemy, Iraqis Need Strong Military And Police Forces. Bringing skills and knowledge to the fight that Coalition forces cannot, Iraqi troops know their people, language, and culture. They know who the terrorists are and are earning the trust of their countrymen. As Iraqi forces grow in size and capability, they are helping to keep a better hold on cities and are increasingly taking the lead. The goal is to train enough Iraqi forces to carry the fight against the terrorists.

Progress Has Resulted Because Of Changes Made In Helping Train Iraqi Troops. Learning from earlier experiences, the Coalition has changed its approach to training. Now, Iraqi Army recruits receive about the same length of basic training as new U.S. Army recruits. With Coalition help, Iraqis have established schools for the Iraqi military services, an Iraqi military academy, a non-commissioned officer (NCO) academy, a military police school, and a bomb disposal school. NATO has established an Iraqi Joint Staff College as well. There is also an increased focus on leadership training, including professional development for Iraqi squad leaders, platoon sergeants, warrant officers, and sergeants-major. A new generation of Iraqi officers is being trained to lead their forces with skill, defeat the terrorists, and secure their freedom.

The Coalition Is Helping Iraqis Build The Institutions They Need To Support Their Forces. North of Baghdad, a national depot has been established to supply the logistical needs of the 10 Iraqi Army divisions. Regional and base support units across the country are supplying Iraqi troops. Iraq's Air Force and Navy are conducting operations to support Iraqi troops and protect vital ports. The Iraqi Military Intelligence School is producing skilled Iraqi intelligence analysts and collectors. By taking these steps, the Coalition is helping Iraqi Security Forces become self-supporting, take the fight to the enemy, and sustain themselves in that fight.

As Iraqi Forces Become More Capable, The Mission Will Continue To Change. Coalition forces will continue to shift from providing security and conducting nationwide operations, to conducting more specialized operations targeting the most dangerous terrorists. Coalition troops will increasingly move out of Iraqi cities, reduce the number of bases, and conduct fewer patrols and convoys. As Iraqi forces gain experience, and the political process advances, the United States will be able to decrease its troop levels in Iraq without losing the capability to defeat the terrorists. These decisions will be driven by ground conditions and the commanders' judgments - not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington.

Pulling Out The Troops Before They Have Achieved Their Purpose Is Not A Plan For Victory. An artificial deadline would send a message around the world that America is a weak and unreliable ally. It would send a signal to the enemy that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run. It would vindicate the tactics of beheadings, suicide bombings, and mass murder - and invite new attacks on America. The President pledges that America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as he is Commander in Chief.

Victory In Iraq

We Are Helping The Iraqi Security Forces To Secure Democracy And A Free Future. In just over two-and-a-half years, Iraqis have made incredible political progress from living under a brutal tyrant to liberation, free elections, and a democratic constitution. On December 15, they will go to the polls to elect a fully constitutional government that will lead the country for the next four years. With each ballot cast, the Iraqi people are sending a message that they will not be intimidated and will determine their own destiny.

The President Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Complete Victory In Iraq. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, Iraqi Security Forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens, and Iraq is not at risk of becoming a safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against America. As progress is made toward victory, Iraqis will take more responsibility for their security and fewer U.S. forces will be needed. Iraq will not be left to the terrorists. Iraq will be a free nation and a strong ally in the Middle East - and this will add to the security of the American people.

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