Boehner: Credit troops, not Obama, with success in Iraq

Credit troops, not President Obama, for the successes the U.S. has enjoyed in Iraq, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday.

Boehner commended Obama for having largely backed the surge in Iraq since taking office and deferring to U.S. generals in Iraq, but noted opposition by congressional Democrats — including Obama, as a senator — to the surge strategy that ultimately proved successful.

"Despite what many politicians continue to say, the success of the surge strategy put in place by Generals Petraeus and Odierno is undeniable," Boehner said in a statement. "Despite many difficult debates in 2007 and 2008, Republicans stood on principle against the irresponsible plans put forth by congressional Democrats to withdraw all our troops and leave Iraq in chaos."

Obama was in Atlanta on Monday to speak to disabled veterans, where he promoted the progress that has been made in Iraq in the past year and a half, as well as the shift he ordered to end the combat mission by Aug. 31.

That progress, Boehner argued, would have been scuttled if Democrats had gotten their way several years ago.

"The administration and Congress must remain vigilant and ensure our troops have the resources they need to effectively do their jobs," said the top House Republican.

Of course, internal rifts still plague Democrats — and, to an extent, some Republicans — when it comes to military strategy in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan. One hundred and two Democrats voted against a supplemental funding measure for the U.S. effort in Afghanistan last week, as did 12 Republicans.

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