Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to General David Petraeus’s and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s testimonies before the House:
“Today, we heard that the Bush Administration likely intends to keep at least 130,000 troops in Iraq through next summer. Our enemies around the globe gain great advantage by having the United States mired in an Iraqi civil war. Clearly, continuing to pursue the President’s flawed escalation policy until at least July 2008 is not in the national interest of the United States.
“U.S. national security requires that we truly and immediately change course in Iraq, so that America can more effectively dedicate our resources to other, more pressing challenges we face across the globe. The longer we keep over 130,000 troops in Iraq, the less incentive Iraqis have to engage in the needed political reconciliation and the longer we avoid dealing with several pressing threats to our national security: Bin Laden remains at large and his terrorist organization has rebuilt its strength to pre-9/11 levels, Afghanistan’s stability is being undermined as the Taliban and narco-traffickers grow in strength, and Iran and other countries and groups pursue the acquisition of nuclear weapons technology.”