(CNN)–With the last of the troop reinforcements arriving in Iraq earlier this month, President Bush said Saturday the full troop surge has begun.
"And its goal is to help the Iraqis make progress toward reconcilation and build a free nation that respects the rights of its people, upholds the rule of law and is an ally in the war on terror." Bush made the comments Saturday in his weekly radio address.
"The enemy continues to carry out sensational attacks, but the number of car bombings and suicide attacks has been down in May and June." he said. "And because of our new strategy, U.S. and Iraqi forces are living among the people they secure, with the result that many Iraqis are now coming forward with information on where the terrorists are hiding."
Speaking to the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Mr. Bush said it was important to remember the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in the struggle. "They've helped bring freedom to the Iraqi people. They've helped make Americans more secure. We will not forget their sacrifice."
Bush is in Kennebunkport, Maine this weekend. He will host a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford