Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to press reports that U.S. and Iraqi negotiators are close to agreeing to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of 2011:
“While the Administration has spent the last two years doing everything in its power to block a change in course that would made America more secure, it appears the Bush Administration is finally inching toward adopting key elements of the strategy long advocated by Senate Democrats on Iraq – including a timeline for redeploying U.S. troops in order to incentivize the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country.
“That John McCain and Congressional Republicans continue to oppose this course shows just how out of touch they are with today’s challenges. Such a change in strategy, as Senator Obama and other Congressional Democrats have long advocated, is absolutely critical to restoring America’s strength, improving the situation in Afghanistan and returning to the hunt for Bin Laden.
“It is also disturbing to read press reports that suggest that the Iraqis would prefer Senator Obama’s 2010 timeline, but the Bush Administration is insisting on a longer, 2011 timeline. Above all, the U.S. Congress must see the text of this agreement, which still has many unresolved issues, before we can make any final judgments on this agreement.”