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Certainly our goal is to leave Iraq, but we can't leave Iraq with our forces until we know that the Iraqi security forces are capable and efficient enough to defend the sovereignty of the nation.
The number of attacks on the American and allied forces is at the highest level since the insurgency began despite the increase of America combat operations and the introduction of some 40 new Iraq security forces and battalions.
With no other security forces on hand, U.S. military was left to confront, almost alone, an Iraqi insurgency and a crime rate that grew worse throughout the year, waged in part by soldiers of the disbanded army and in part by criminals who were released from prison.
We must support initiatives that provide clear, concrete measures and milestones that our troops need for defeating the insurgency, building up Iraqi security forces, and handing over Iraq to the Iraqi people.
We're probably going to see some post-2014 military presence - some U.S. presence and a NATO presence - and while we've got much work to do in the next 29 months, we'll have additional time later for the continued professionalization of the Afghan security forces.