Boehner to Make Iraq Speech Before Obama’s

Posted August 31, 2010 at 9:02am

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will give a speech Tuesday praising the 2007 surge strategy in Iraq and urging President Barack Obama to focus less on a draw down of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and more on achieving victory in the ongoing war.

Boehner’s afternoon speech at the American Legion Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., will take place hours before Obama’s Oval Office address Tuesday evening to formally announce the end of combat operations in Iraq.

Boehner’s speech will take veiled shots at Democratic leaders who railed against the 2007 troop increase in Iraq, according to excerpts released by Boehner’s office.

“When General [David] Petraeus embarked on the surge strategy in January 2007, it was widely viewed as our last chance to save Iraq from spiraling into an irreversible descent toward chaos,” he plans to say. “The consequences of failure then, as now, were severe.”

Boehner will warn Obama against “using campaign promises as a yardstick to measure success in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“I support our counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, but the president must do more to emphasize his commitment to ensuring its success rather than focusing on meeting arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal,” Boehner’s prepared remarks say.