I am encouraged by the strategy presented by President Bush. I plan to review this bold and comprehensive strategy with the same intelligent analysis used to craft it. The future of Iraq and the future of the Middle East depend on our success – we cannot afford to fail.

The Iraqi people have been given back their country, but it’s up to them to defend it. The sectarian violence and bloodshed in Iraq must stop. This strategy will prepare the Iraqis to fully replace U.S. forces to provide for the security of their nation.

History has taught us that wars are not won through politics. This new strategy recognizes the mistakes and developments of the past 4 years, and builds on the advice and information provided from military, economic and civil advisors. The surge in U.S. forces must also be accompanied by clear, measurable and achievable goals.

Every American hopes that our troops can return home quickly and safely. This proposal represents another step towards that goal. However, the new policy in Iraq cannot be static or we will fall back into familiar problems. Now that President Bush has laid down the framework, it’s important that we set aside partisan differences and have an open and honest debate on the merits of this proposal.