Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada made the following statement today in response to the GAO report concluding the majority of benchmarks for progress in Iraq remain unmet at a time when al Qaeda has grown only stronger:
“Today’s GAO report confirms that the President’s Iraq strategy is simply not working. Levels of violence remain dangerously high and civilian deaths show no signs of slowing. And despite the enormous sacrifices of our troops, the Iraqi government remains both unable and unwilling to make the compromises necessary to stabilize their country and quell the violence. With 15 of 18 benchmarks for progress unmet, it is long past time for a new strategy.
“Meanwhile, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda have regained their pre-9/11 strength, and we do not have enough troops for Afghanistan or to respond to another unexpected crisis elsewhere around the globe. A new direction in Iraq must begin in order to make America more secure.
“Democrats will continue to push for a new strategy to protect our troops and make America secure. Many Republicans said that the month of September would be the time when they would join the fight for change in Iraq. I hope these Republicans will now follow their words with action.”