Senate Democrats

Is the War in Iraq Making the U.S. Safer?

In his testimony today, General Petraeus said that he did not know if continuing the mission in Iraq was making the U.S. safer. Yet, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker both refused to answer how long it would take to achieve a political solution in Iraq. With our commander on the ground not sure if our mission is making us safer, it’s time for a  change of course in Iraq that gets our valiant men and women out of harm’s way and refocuses the mission on fighting terrorists, not policing a civil war.

General Petraeus Said He Did Not Know If Continuing the Mission in Iraq Was making America More Safe. 

Senator Warner: Are you able to say at this time if we continue what you have laid before the congress here,this strategy. do you feel that that is making America safer?

General Petraeus: Sir, I believe this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq.

Warner: Does that make America safer?

General Petraeus:  Sir I don’t know actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind what i have focued on and what I have been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the multinational force Iraq. [Testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to the Senate Armed Services Committee, 9/11/07]

Ambassador Crocker Refused to Answer How Long It Would Take to Achieve Success in Iraq. Asked what he meant when he said that success in Iraq “would not be quick,” Ambassador Crocker answered, “I think in the past we have set some expectations that simply couldn’t be met. And I’m trying not to do that… In terms of concrete things like force levels, as General Petraeus said, neither of us believe we can see beyond next summer.” [Testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 9/11/07]

  • Under Pressure, Crocker Conceded That Success Could Be Well Beyond Next Summer, Refused to Answer What U.S. Presence Would Look Like. When pressed, Ambassador Crocker said, “It could be well beyond the end of next summer. It certainly will be well beyond the end of next summer before Iraq can achieve the end state I’ve laid out. There’s no question. What that implies for our presence, levels and so forth, that I can’t judge at this point.” [Testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 9/11/07]

General Petraeus Refused to Answer If He Would Recommend a Continued Troop Presence of 130,000 to 160,000 If the Circumstances in Iraq Remain Unchanged. Asked if the circumstances on the ground remained the same in March, would he recommended a continued troop presence of 130,000 to 160,000, General Petraeus answered, “Mr. Chairman, I — that’s a pretty big hypothetical.” [Testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 9/11/07]

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