There are no easy choices. The way ahead will be very hard. Progress will require determination and difficult U.S. and Iraqi actions, especially the latter, as ultimately the outcome will be determined by the Iraqis. But hard is not hopeless, and if confirmed, I pledge to do my utmost to lead our wonderful men and women in uniform and those of our coalition partners in Iraq as we endeavor to help the Iraqis make the most of the opportunity our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have given to them.
Syria has allowed its soil to be transited by foreign fighters who have come from a variety of source countries in the Gulf area and in the — in North African countries.
There are some signs that that may have been reduced somewhat in the last couple of months. We need to watch that a bit and see if that is the case.
Iran, as we have already discussed, has carried out very, very harmful activities inside Iraq. Funding, trainings, arming and, in some cases, even directing the activities of the special groups associated with the Jaish al-Mahdi and the Sadr Militia.
As quoted in "Ranking House Committee Members Grill Crocker and Petraeus on U.S. Progress in Iraq" in The Washington Post (10 September 2007)
Political progress will only take place if sufficient security exists.