6,534. 11/30/2005

On November 30, 2005, “the White House issued a white paper titled ‘National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.’ In discussing it, President Bush emphasized the transition to Iraqi forces. ‘As Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead in the fight against the terrorists, they’re also taking control of more and more Iraqi territory,’ he said in a speech in Annapolis, Maryland. ‘Our coalition has handed over roughly ninety square miles of Baghdad Province to Iraqi security forces. Iraqi battalions have taken over responsibility for areas in South-Central Iraq, sectors of Southeast Iraq, sectors of Western Iraq and sectors of North-Central Iraq. As Iraqi security forces take responsibility for more of their own territory, coalition forces can concentrate on training Iraqis and hunting down high-value targets.’ He repeated his promise that ‘as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down.’ ”

 – Thomas E. Ricks, The Gamble, Pages 13-14

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