This is my third trip to Baghdad in the nine months since the liberation of Baghdad. It’s exciting to be back here. It always is. I’m looking forward to three things. Number one is to visit with our commanders and troops and get a sense of what they see is the situation on the ground. I always learn an enormous amount from them. I also learn about things we can help back in Washington .
Right now, I think you know we are engaged in a major movement. Essentially we’re moving a city of 125,000 people back home, and another city of 125,000 people here to Iraq in the space of a few months. It’s an enormous undertaking. Not just logistically, but if you think about all the connections that have to be made between the arriving units and the departing units. It’s going to be very interesting to hear how that is going. We got a taste of that already from the 1st Infantry Division.
Secondly, to assess progress in this country in the two months since I was last here. It’s been a very eventful three months. It’s included the capture of Saddam Hussein, which is a major event for the Iraqi people and for the whole effort here. It includes the decision to move to a sovereign Iraqi government on July 1 which is very important and I’m interested in that process.
And then finally, or maybe first not last, it gives me the opportunity to thank the incredible military and civilians who serve here with great dedication under very difficult conditions but they are making enormous progress. As I said in my remarks to the 1st Infantry Division they’re helping to change the course of history in a way that will make the whole world safer for our children and our grandchildren.