US officials were out in full force softening the ground before what turned out to be a non-speech by President Barack Obama.
“Notwithstanding what the national press says about increased violence, the truth is things are still very much different. Things are much safer.”
- US Vice President Joe Biden, alleging that the media exaggerates Iraq's level of violence, while softening the ground before
“Three and a half years ago very few believed the surge could take us to where we are today in Iraq, and there were plenty of reasons for doubts. Back then, this country’s civilian and military leadership chose the path we believed had the best chance of achieving our national security objectives, as we are doing in Afghanistan today... Success there is not inevitable. But with the right strategy and the willingness to see it through, it is possible. And it is certainly worth the fight.”
- Defense Secretary Robert Gates, claiming that Iraq's "success" makes victory in Afghanistan possible