The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 16, 2007

Fact Sheet: Four Years Later: New Strategy Requires Patience and Determination

     Fact sheet In Focus: Defense
     Fact sheet In Focus: Renewal in Iraq

On The Fourth Anniversary Of The Beginning Of Operation Iraqi Freedom, The Regime Of A Brutal Dictator Has Been Replaced By A Democratically Elected Government Operating Under One Of The Most Progressive Constitutions In The Arab World.   While there is much work to be done, there are encouraging signs of progress.

Achieving Our Goals Will Require Patience And Determination

Iraqi Security Forces Are Stepping Up To Take Control Of Their Country's Security.  Iraqi Security Forces continue to gain strength and are fighting alongside Coalition forces.  Their commitment and sacrifice are real: Casualty levels for Iraqi Security Forces are now higher than for Coalition forces.

Iraqis Are Beginning To Meet Benchmarks To Achieve Political Reconciliation.  

1) Narrowing the limitations of the de-Baathification law;
2) Establishing the framework and setting a date for provincial elections; and
3) Continuing to pursue the constitutional review process:  The Constitutional Review Committee, with representation from all major political blocs and technical assistance from the United Nations, is now working and is likely to present potential amendments to parliament in the next two months.

On March 12, 2007, Iraq Convened A Regional Conference Of Thirteen Nations, Including Neighboring Countries And The U.S., As Well As The United Nations, The Islamic Conference, And The Arab League.  Conference attendees discussed issues of common concern regarding Iraq and agreed to form working groups on border security, fuel imports, and refugees.  They plan to hold another regional meeting at the ministerial level in April, which U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will attend.

On July 27, 2006, Iraq And The UN Announced The Formal Launch Of The International Compact With Iraq.  This Compact, jointly shared by the Government of Iraq and the United Nations, with the support of the World Bank, will bring together the international community and multilateral organizations over five years to help Iraq implement key reforms and grow fully integrated into the international economic community.

The New Way Forward In Iraq

In January, President Bush Announced A New Strategy For Iraq.  This strategy has as its top priority reducing violence in Baghdad, to give Iraqi leaders the breathing room they need to make political progress. It gives our troops the reinforcements they need, and it demands more from Iraq's elected government. We have seen tangible progress, but this is work that will not be accomplished in days or weeks – it requires a sustained course of action over many months. The strategy includes:

Implementing This Strategy Will Require Sustained Action Over Many Months, But We Have Already Seen Progress. 

Millions Of Iraqis Have Risked Their Lives To Secure A Democratic Future For Their Nation, And America Will Not Abandon Them In Their Hour Of Need.  The vast majority of Iraq's citizens want to live in peace, and they are showing their courage every day. 

Our New Strategy Builds On What Has Proven To Work And Corrects For What Has Not Worked In Iraq.  It specifically accounts for the heightened levels of sectarian violence seen over the course of 2006 and is designed to help Iraqis defeat extremists from all communities and provide the space necessary for advancing meaningful political reconciliation. 

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