Washington, DC – Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today upon receipt of a report to Congress from the Secretary of Defense on Iraq:
“Today, in his highly-scripted photo-op from the White House and in his administration’s report to Congress, the President missed two very important opportunities to speak frankly to our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and the American people about the performance of his strategy in Iraq.
“Today’s report to Congress confirms what has become obvious to all Americans: the security situation in Iraq remains perilous, and we have a long, hard road still ahead. The average number of weekly attacks and casualties are up substantially over the past year. The burden for securing Iraq continues to fall squarely on U.S. troops, as the report confirms that only one Iraqi battalion – less than 1000 troops – is fully independent and prepared to fight without U.S. assistance.
“Merely saying we will stay in Iraq until the job is done is no longer sufficient. We must change the course. The president must in a clear and complete way lay out what military, political and economic progress will be necessary in order to begin to bring our troops home. We have continued to ask the president to answer these key questions so the American people will know what it will take to get the job done and will be able to measure our success. After 2 ½ years of enormous sacrifice in Iraq, we can and must do better than empty rhetoric. The troops and the American people deserve a plan.”
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S KEY QUESTIONS ON IRAQ
- How many capable Iraqi forces do we need before we can bring our troops home?
- What is the administration doing to forge a political consensus?
- What is the administration doing to make Iraq’s neighbors and other countries a part of our strategy?
- What progress is being made on the reconstruction in Iraq and how do we know taxpayers dollars are being spent wisely?