Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of President Bush’s escalation in Iraq:
“The ‘surge’ strategy our military implemented a year ago today had an explicit goal: reduce violence so that Iraqis would have the room to begin securing their own country. Unfortunately, while our brave troops have held up their end, the Iraqis have not.
“One year on, we remain proud of how our troops have achieved everything we have asked of them with courage and skill. But the stated goal of political reconciliation remains unfulfilled and Iraq still lacks a sustainable security framework. And while violence levels have decreased to where they were in 2005, we must remember that such numbers are only low relative to the horrific violence of recent years.
“Democrats will continue to fight for a change of course in Iraq because we know America cannot afford the many costs of this directionless war. Its price tag approaches $750 billion as our commitment in Iraq limits our ability to address deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our military readiness is at its lowest in a generation, and Al Qaeda only grows stronger. While our troops continue to fulfill their missions with flying colors, we will not rest until this Administration gives them one that more effectively fights terrorism and makes our country more secure.”