(CNN) - An Iraqi and Afghan war veteran on Saturday took some potshots at the Bush administration's actions and strategies in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, saying the government "continually mismanages and degrades the military I have come to love."
"We need an effective offensive strategy that takes the fight to our real enemies abroad," said Brandon Friedman, speaking in the Democratic weekly radio address.
Politicians normally speak in the weekly address, but today, the Democrats chose a war veteran. Friedman served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. He led a platoon in Afghanistan in 2002, commanded troops in Iraq, and was awarded two bronze stars.
Friedman argued for a swift political solution in Iraq, the removal of troops from the middle of Iraq's civil warfare, and more focus on the global war on terror in places like Afghanistan.
"President Bush is keeping our already-overextended troops in the middle of a civil war, instead of deferring to military leaders who agree that we need to transition the mission to focus on a political solution, not a military one."
He argued, like many war critics have that "the Iraq war has kept us from devoting assets we need to fight terrorists worldwide, as evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and al Qaeda has been able to rebuild."
He commended Democrats "standing up to President Bush on Iraq", and urged Republicans with similar sentiments to "vote with the majority" on issues concerning Iraq.
Friedman said the Iraqi government "has met none of the critical political or economic benchmarks they set for themselves.
"It's past time for the transition to diplomatic efforts in Iraq that Democrats have long demanded."
In his Saturday radio address, President Bush reiterated the points he made earlier this week about the interim report on progress in the Iraq war.
The report, which included 18 benchmarks created by Congress, showed that only eight benchmarks have been satisfactorily reached by the Iraqi government, a number that Bush said "is a cause for optimism."
The eight areas included the establishment of joint security stations in Baghdad neighborhoods, and the contribution of $10 billion of Iraqi money towards reconstruction .
"This report shows that conditions can change," said Bush, "progress can be made, and the fight in Iraq can be won."