One the best experiences there was getting to sit down with New Hampshire service members, like Army Sergeant Nathan Ritzo from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His story was a great example of one of the most important things I saw in Iraq, which is how amazing and inspiring the work is that our men and women in uniform are doing there.  It made me proud, and it would make every American proud.  They have done an outstanding job navigating through a very difficult situation.

More Washington bickering is not going to help the situation. We need to come together and say, how do we create a sequence that gets the Iraqis to step up to their responsibilities and allows us to redeploy from there -- because we can’t keep having people like Sergeant Ritzo shouldering this burden for them again and again.  I am also going to redouble my efforts to make sure that we are treating all of our veterans with all of the care, benefits, and respect that they have earned.

Our troops have done an incredible job under very difficult circumstances, and their work has been a part of creating some security progress there, and it is time for the Iraqis to step up and take control of their own destiny. I agree with what General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker said to me personally -- there is no military solution there -- Iraq needs a political solution.  The American people have said what the Iraqi people agree with -- we can’t have an open-ended commitment in Iraq.