George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Briefing By Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders and Brigade Combat Commanders

July 13, 2007

As part of our strategy to succeed in Iraq, I not only reinforced our military efforts with more troops, we also surged civilians to work with our military to help the reconciliation efforts in a country that is still recovering from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

And today my Security Council here had a opportunity not only to speak with our Ambassador in Iraq but also five members of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, three civilians and two military—colonels. They have briefed us on the grassroots effort to improve services, to improve the economy,to encourage local government, all aiming at enhancing this concept of reconciliation from the bottom up.

We heard from the PRT leader in Anbar. I had the honor of speaking to him months ago, and now he has briefed us on the progress that he has seen. Listen, there is still a lot of work to be done. But these people at the grassroots understand that most Iraqis want to live in peace and that, with time, we'll be able to help them realize that dream.

And so I want to thank you once again for your outstanding service to our Nation in the cause of peace. What happens in Iraq matters to the United States of America. A violent, chaotic Iraq will affect our security at home. An Iraq that can self-govern, provide basic services to its people, and be an ally in the war on terror will mean that all of us have accepted a great challenge and laid a foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.

And so thank you for your service. I appreciate your—I want to thank your families who are supporting you in this just and noble cause. And may God bless you all. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:30 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Briefing By Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders and Brigade Combat Commanders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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