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Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Troop Surge

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/05/prnw.20070105.UNF014.html Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Flawed Iraq Troop Surge Jan 05 8:25 AM
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2007
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      http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/05/prnw.20070105.UNF014.html

      Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject
      Flawed Iraq Troop Surge

      Jan 05 8:25 AM US/Eastern

      WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senate
      Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi
      today sent the following letter to President Bush
      urging him to reject his reported plan to escalate the
      war in Iraq by increasing troop levels and delaying
      the ability of the Iraqi government to take control of
      their own future. The leaders cited the burden on the
      nation's already-overtaxed military, the likely
      failure of a surge strategy to quell the violence, and
      the dangers of placing American military into the
      middle of a civil war. The two leaders called on the
      President to instead heed the will of the American
      people, listen to the advice of America's military,
      and recognize the need for a significant change in
      strategy that begins with a political solution and a
      phased withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

      Quotes from the letter:

      "We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed
      in the future but, like many of our senior military
      leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S.
      combat troops contributes to success. They, like us,
      believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq.
      There is only a political solution."

      "Adding more combat troops will only endanger more
      Americans and stretch our military to the breaking
      point for no strategic gain."

      "Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we
      believe the way forward is to begin the phased
      redeployment of our forces in the next four to six
      months, while shifting the principal mission of our
      forces there from combat to training, logistics, force
      protection and counter-terror." The text of the letter
      follows below. January 5, 2007 President George W.
      Bush The White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr.
      President:

      The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities
      to work together on the critical issues confronting
      our country. No issue is more important than finding
      an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest
      month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S.
      fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.

      The American people demonstrated in the November
      elections that they do not believe your current Iraq
      policy will lead to success and that we need a change
      in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi
      people. We understand that you are completing your
      post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing
      to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the
      American people next week.

      Clearly this address presents you with another
      opportunity to make a long overdue course correction.
      Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to
      the breaking point and, in many cases, have already
      served multiple tours in Iraq, news reports suggest
      that you believe the solution to the civil war

      in Iraqis to require additional sacrifices from our
      troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a
      substantial U.S. troop increase.

      Surging forces is a strategy that you have already
      tried and that has already failed. Like many current
      and former military leaders, we believe that trying
      again would be a serious mistake. They, like us,
      believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq.
      There is only a political solution. Adding more combat
      troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch
      our military to the breaking point for no strategic
      gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the
      Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We
      are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.

      In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed
      Services Committee, General John Abiz aid, our top
      commander for Iraq and the region, said the following
      when asked about whether he thought more troops would
      contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:

      "I met with every divisional commander, General Casey,
      the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked
      together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if
      we were to bring in more American troops now, does it
      add considerably to our ability to achieve success in
      Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because
      we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the
      Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that
      more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing
      more, from taking more responsibility for their own
      future."

      Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we
      believe the way forward is to begin the phased
      redeployment of our forces in the next four to six
      months, while shifting the principal mission of our
      forces there from combat to training, logistics, force
      protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic
      strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also
      required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable
      political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to
      move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi
      political leadership aware that our commitment is not
      open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian
      problems, and that only they can find the political
      resolution required to stabilize Iraq.

      Our troops and the American people have already
      sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After
      nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S.
      casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time
      to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly
      encourage you to reject any plans that call for our
      getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do
      everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future
      but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do
      not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops
      contributes to success. We appreciate you taking these
      views into consideration. Sincerely, Senate Majority
      Leader Harry Reid Speaker Nancy Pelosi

      SOURCE Senate Democratic Communications Center
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