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May 20, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today met with General David Petraeus, current Commander of Multi-National Force – Iraq, ahead of his nomination hearing to become Commander of United States Central Command. Also attending the meeting was Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, who will replace General Petraeus in his current role.

During the meeting, General Petraeus spoke about the ongoing success of the surge in Iraq. The most recent security indicators from the country point to a level of violence that is at its lowest level since April of 2004.
Petraeus also noted that much of the improvement in the security situation is the result of the Iraqi initiative, notably the ongoing military operation by Iraqi security forces in Sadr City, following on the heels of their recent operation in Basra.
“I am extremely encouraged by what these men have accomplished within the past year in Iraq,” Inhofe said. “I am further encouraged to see that the Iraqis are capitalizing on the success of the surge, and beginning to bring about positive change on their own.

“The counterinsurgency strategy has brought about results that are nothing short of remarkable. This never would have been possible if we had yielded to the cut-and-run crowd. If we had failed to keep our commitment there, today Iraq would undoubtedly be more violent and politically unstable, and subject to greater Iranian influence.
“The current security situation in the country requires that we maintain our support and leadership. General Petraeus and Lieutenant General Odierno are critical to our ongoing success, and I look forward to their confirmations.”

Odierno spoke of the importance of passing an emergency war supplemental bill soon, to ensure that the training of troops prior to going to Iraq will not be interrupted.

General David Petraeus and Lieutenant General Odierno will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their confirmation hearing on Thursday, May 22, 2008.

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