Full Text of Bush's Speech

By: pitin
Published On: 1/10/2007 10:27:11 PM

For your reading pleasure.
It's really long, the Escalator spoke for 22 minutes, here it is as was put on the teleprompter.



Office of the Press Secretary
  January 10, 2007


As Prepared for Delivery
Good evening.  Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United
States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of
the global war on terror - and our safety here at home.  The new

strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and
help us succeed in the fight against terror. 

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had
cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation.  The elections

of 2005 were a stunning achievement.  We thought that these elections
would bring the Iraqis together - and that as we trained Iraqi security
forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops. 

But in 2006, the opposite happened.  The violence in Iraq - particularly
in Baghdad - overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made.  Al
Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that

Iraq's elections posed for their cause.  And they responded with
outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.  They blew up one of
the holiest shrines in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra - in a

calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate.  Their
strategy worked.  Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed
death squads.  And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence

that continues today.

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people - and it is
unacceptable to me.  Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely.  They have
done everything we have asked them to do.  Where mistakes have been

made, the responsibility rests with me. 

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq.  So my national
security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a
comprehensive review.  We consulted Members of Congress from both

parties, allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts.  We benefited
from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group - a
bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former

Congressman Lee Hamilton.  In our discussions, we all agreed that there
is no magic formula for success in Iraq.  And one message came through
loud and clear:  Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United

The consequences of failure are clear:  Radical Islamic extremists would
grow in strength and gain new recruits.  They would be in a better
position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and

use oil revenues to fund their ambitions.  Iran would be emboldened in
its pursuit of nuclear weapons.  Our enemies would have a safe haven
from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.  On
September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the

other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities.
For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

  The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security,
especially in Baghdad.  Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence

occurs within 30 miles of the capital.  This violence is splitting
Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all
Iraqis.  Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their
people.  And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do


Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons:
There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods
that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents.  And there were too

many restrictions on the troops we did have.  Our military commanders
reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes.
They report that it does.  They also report that this plan can work.

Let me explain the main elements of this effort:  The Iraqi government
will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their
capital.  The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National

Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts.  When these forces are
fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades
committed to this effort - along with local police.  These Iraqi forces

will operate from local police stations - conducting patrols, setting up
checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad

  This is a strong commitment.  But for it to succeed, our commanders

say the Iraqis will need our help.  So America will change our strategy
to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian
violence - and bring security to the people of Baghdad.  This will
require increasing American force levels.  So I have committed more than

20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.  The vast majority of them -
five brigades - will be deployed to Baghdad.  These troops will work
alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations.  Our troops

will have a well-defined mission:  to help Iraqis clear and secure
neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help
ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the
security that Baghdad needs. 

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when
previous operations to secure Baghdad did not.  Here are the
differences:  In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared

many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents - but when our forces
moved on to other targets, the killers returned.  This time, we will
have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared.
In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented

Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to
those fueling the sectarian violence.  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. 

I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that
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 - and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.  Now
is the time to act.  The Prime Minister understands this.  Here is what

he told his people just last week:  "The Baghdad security plan will not
provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or
political affiliation."

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings,

assassinations, or IED attacks.  Our enemies in Iraq will make every
effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of
death and suffering.  Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops

chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust
and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.  When this happens, daily life
will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the

government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in
other critical areas.  Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live
together in peace - and reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make

reconciliation possible.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations.
Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are
accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and

communities.  So America will hold the Iraqi government to the
benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take
responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November.  To

give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will
pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.  To show that
it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will

spend 10 billion dollars of its own money on reconstruction and
infrastructure projects that will create new jobs.  To empower local
leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year.  And
to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the

government will reform de-Baathification laws - and establish a fair
process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution. 

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it

works to meet these benchmarks.  In keeping with the recommendations of
the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American
advisers in Iraqi Army units - and partner a Coalition brigade with
every Iraqi Army division.  We will help the Iraqis build a larger and

better-equipped Army - and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi
forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq.  We
will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend
funds for economic assistance.  We will double the number of Provincial

Reconstruction Teams.  These teams bring together military and civilian
experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation,
strengthen moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self reliance.
And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in

Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in

  As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and
foreign fighters.  Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq.  Its home base is

Anbar Province.  Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of
Iraq outside the capital.  A captured al Qaeda document describes the
terrorists' plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province.  This

would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq's
democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks
on the United States at home and abroad.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders

- and protecting the local population.  Recently, local tribal leaders
have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda.  As a result,
our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to

the terrorists.  So I have given orders to increase American forces in
Anbar Province by 4,000 troops.  These troops will work with Iraqi and
tribal forces to step up the pressure on the terrorists.  America's men

and women in uniform took away al Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan -
and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity -

and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge.  This
begins with addressing Iran and Syria.  These two regimes are allowing
terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of

Iraq.  Iran is providing material support for attacks on American
troops.  We will disrupt the attacks on our forces.  We will interrupt
the flow of support from Iran and Syria.  And we will seek out and
destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our

enemies in Iraq. 

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and
protect American interests in the Middle East.  I recently ordered the
deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.  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 problems along their border.  And

we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons
and dominating the region.

  We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support
for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East.  Countries like Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an
American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists -
and a strategic threat to their survival.  These nations have a stake in

a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors - and they must
step up their support for Iraq's unity government.  We endorse the Iraqi
government's call to finalize an International Compact that will bring

new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform.  And on
Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region - to build support for
Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to

the Middle East.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a
military conflict.  It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time.
On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation.  On the

other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their
intention to destroy our way of life.  In the long run, the most
realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful
alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy - by advancing liberty

across a troubled region.  It is in the interests of the United States
to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to
claim their freedom - and help them as they work to raise up just and

hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of
ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and
opportunity for their children.  And they are looking at Iraq.  They

want to know:  Will America withdraw and yield the future of that
country to the extremists - or will we stand with the Iraqis who have
made the choice for freedom?

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival

of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the
world of enormous importance to American security.  Let me be clear:
The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they

will make the year ahead bloody and violent.  Even if our new strategy
works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue - and we
must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.  The question is whether

our new strategy will bring us closer to success.  I believe that it

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers
achieved.  There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a

battleship.  But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab
world - a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the
rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its

people.  A democratic Iraq will not be perfect.  But it will be a
country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them - and it will
help bring a future of peace and security for our children and

Our new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the
different courses we could take in Iraq.  Many are concerned that the
Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States - and therefore,

our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al
Qaeda.  Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad -
or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces.  We carefully

considered these proposals.  And we concluded that to step back now
would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart,
and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.  Such a scenario

would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and
confront an enemy that is even more lethal.  If we increase our support
at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of

violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress
on our new strategy.  If Members have improvements that can be made, we

will make them.  If circumstances change, we will adjust.  Honorable
people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms.  It
is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny.  And all involved have a
responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely

to succeed. 

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members
of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help
us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.  This

group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will
help strengthen our relationship with Congress.  We can begin by working
together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so

that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century.  We also
need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy
overseas - where they can help build democratic institutions in

communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have
extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and
defend us.  These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is

noble and necessary - and that the advance of freedom is the calling of
our time.  They serve far from their families, who make the quiet
sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table.
They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty.

We mourn the loss of every fallen American - and we owe it to them to
build a future worthy of their sacrifice.

Fellow citizens:  The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice,
and resolve.  It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the

burdens of freedom.  Yet times of testing reveal the character of a
Nation.  And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the
pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.  Now America is
engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century.

We can and we will prevail. 

We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us
through these trying hours.  Thank you and good night.