Washington, D.C. – President Bush is scheduled to speak to 5,000 sailors and Marines aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln about the coalition's military success in Iraq and the next phase of our involvement there. His speech will be broadcast throughout the nation.
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined the President in commenting on the shifting role of the U.S. in Iraq.
"The role of U.S. combat forces in Iraq is shifting. Although we still have American men and women in Iraq who are being shot at, the major combat phase of the war has concluded. Our young men and women in the armed forces performed brilliantly as did their commanders. I am proud of them, proud of our country and I thank those who gave the most precious gift of democracy and freedom. Wyoming especially knows sacrifice. During the recent conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, our state has lost more people in proportion to our population than any other state. All Americans should continue to pray for the safe return of those who are still far from home and show their gratitude to all the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces.
"But even though Americans are now watching their favorite sitcoms on TV again instead of anticipating the next briefing from CentCom, we still have a lot of work to do over there. The next phase of helping the people of Iraq build a free and democratic nation may be even more difficult.
"I continue to support President Bush and the actions we have taken in Iraq and although I do not believe America's troops should remain in Iraq indefinitely, it is important that we ensure that the transitional authorities and the new Iraqi government are able to withstand the transition into a free state. If we leave Iraq in its current state of a power vacuum, we are condemning the Iraqi people to more years of struggle.
"Americans can be confident that our leaders and our military continue to act in the national security interests of the United States and that they will now work as hard and with as much skill to win the peace as they did to win the war."