House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) delivered remarks on national security today at the 92nd American Legion National Convention. Just hours before ABC News says President Obama is "set to address the nation … about the end of the U.S combat mission in Iraq," Boehner said, "This day belongs to our troops, whose courage and sacrifices have made the transition to a new mission in Iraq possible."
According to National Journal, "Boehner's speech also touched on tensions in the Middle East, the struggling economy and the ongoing war on terrorism. His remarks included a stern warning about Iran, and he said Israel is on 'the front lines of the ideological and violent clash we are confronting.'" You can read Boehner's full remarks here courtesy The Hill or watch it on CSPAN.org.
Here's some of the coverage and excerpts from Boehner's speech on national security:
>> MAKING SURE OUR TROOPS RECEIVE CREDIT FOR PROGRESS IN IRAQ: "House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner charged that Obama and other senior Democrats who opposed that military escalation, announced in January 2007, are now trying to 'claim credit' for the results. 'Today we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated -- but progress,' Boehner said in a speech to be delivered to the American Legion veterans group ahead of Obama's own remarks on the matter from the White House. 'Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results,' said the lawmaker, who underlined that credit for a more stable Iraq 'belongs to our troops.'" (US Republicans hit Obama on Iraq 'surge', Associated Press, 8/31/10)
>> WINNING IN AFGHANISTAN: "As the U.S. military steps up operations in Afghanistan, Boehner said, that country is central in the war against extremism, particularly because of its location next to volatile Pakistan. Boehner supports the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan but blasted the president for setting a deadline next summer to end combat operations rather than focusing on ensuring success. 'Using campaign promises as yardsticks to measure success in Iraq and Afghanistan runs the risk of triggering artificial victory laps and premature withdrawal dates unconnected to conditions on the ground,' Boehner said. 'The United States certainly can't afford to think short term when our enemies are in it for the long haul.'" (Boehner blasts Obama on war leadership, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/31/10)
>> SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS STILL IN HARM'S WAY: "Boehner said that moving into the future, Congress cannot turn its back on the successes that U.S. troops have achieved in the region and called on fellow lawmakers to support the troops still in harm's way. 'That means no more troop funding bills held up by unrelated, extraneous domestic spending and pork barrel projects,' Boehner said. 'Our troops in harm's way should never have to doubt Congress's commitment to supporting their mission.' 'We need a Congress that understands that when we send our sons and daughters to risk all in defense of our security, that victory is the only option, and that and we'll do whatever it takes to provide them with the necessary support so that they can return home swiftly and successfully,' Boehner added." (Boehner Marks Success of Surge, End of U.S. Combat Mission in Iraq, ABC News, 8/31/10)
>> CREATING NEW JOBS FOR OUR VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME: "Boehner said the country needs a 'fresh start so that every man and woman who has donned the uniform of our nation knows that when they leave the service, the opportunity for a good job in the private sector awaits them.' ''Stimulus' spending sprees, permanent bailouts, federal mandates and government takeovers have failed this nation and have failed our veterans,' said Boehner." (Boehner Hits Obama Ahead Of Oval Office Address, National Journal, 8/31/10)
>> DEFEATING THE TERRORIST THREAT & KEEPING TERRORISTS OUT OF AMERICA: "Another striking package included: 'We need a Congress that will hold our government accountable for an overarching capture, detention and interrogation policy. And we need a Congress that will use every tool at its disposal to keep terrorists off U.S. soil.'" (GOP's John Boehner speaks to vets on Iraq, the Afghan war, economy -- with some praise for Obama, Los Angeles Time, 8/31/10)
>> STANDING WITH ISRAEL: "As we gather here, Iran is working to develop a nuclear weapons program. ... Iran is more than prepared to sacrifice the well-being of its people for the chance to fundamentally change the balance of power in the region. It is the true source of instability in the region, and we must not naively assume a nuclear-armed Iran would be containable. ... Israel is on the front lines of the ideological and violent clash we are confronting. ... America has stood by Israel since Harry Truman sat in the Oval Office. Our commitment to this long-standing friendship should be no less strong today. Where I come from, you stick by your friends, you stick by people who share your values. You do not send a message of strength to your enemies by shunning your friends and allies." (Today belongs to our troops, The Hill, 8/31/10)
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