Missouri’s top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee says the signs are clear that the United States has essentially wont he war in Iraq.
Congressman Todd Akin of St. Louis says years of hard work even before the surge to build the Iraqi security forces are paying off. He says the security forces are amazing the American troops that have trained them. And he points to the action by Iraqis to control violence in Basra where he says the security forces cleaned things up faster than anyone thought possible.
Akin says the result is that Al Qaeda has been denied territory in Iraq, forcing it elsewhere. He refers to a "tremendous victory" in Iraq.
Akin says the planned withdrawal of some American troops next year will not weaken the effort in Iraq. He says the plans call for the withdrawal of about nine-thousand troops, leaving about 140-thousand still there.
Akin has heard critics say the Iraq parliament is not moving fast enough to develop democracy. But he says our own Congress is not winning any prizes for making progress on major issues. He says the Iraqi leaders are "fledgling politicians" dealing with major issues that are new to them. He’s willing to cut them some slack.