On my recent trip I was intensely impressed with the morale and optimism of our troops. They are aware that we have accomplished a great deal in Iraq, and it is clear that we cannot give up the fight now. However, the violence in and around Baghdad continues to increase, which in turn increases the stakes of our mission. Our mission in Iraq continues to be important for America; however the Iraqi government must do more to protect and provide for its citizens. It is important that we work in a bipartisan manner to do what is best for our troops, as well as for the Iraqi people. I want to personally thank each and every soldier for their deep commitment and sacrifice, and let their families know what a great job they are doing. It was an honor to spend Christmas with our brave men and women.