Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement this evening following an Oval Office address from President Obama regarding next steps in Iraq. Earlier this month, the last U.S. combat troops exited Iraq and Iraqi forces are now primarily responsible for defending their country for the first time since the Iraq War began in 2003:
“Our troops and security forces have done everything that has been asked of them in Iraq, and their heroism has given the Iraqi people a chance to determine their own future as they build and defend the young democracy they now own. Tonight President Obama affirmed our obligation to finish the job in Iraq and draw down our presence there in a responsible, honorable way. While we still have thousands of troops who remain in Iraq in an advisory role, the responsibility for the security of Iraq now rests primarily with the Iraqi people.
“Thousands of Nevadans and hundreds of thousands of Americans gave everything they had to help us reach this historic milestone, including thirty-seven Nevadans and over four thousand Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. These heroes and their families remain in our thoughts. We have a duty to provide these men and women with state-of-the-art battlefield equipment, fair salaries and quality health care. And when they return home, we must provide these heroes with the necessary post-combat support to help them readjust to their lives.
“Americans of good faith have always held different opinions about how to conduct the war effort in Iraq but the American people have always been united in honoring the sacrifice of our service members who have bravely defended American interests there. I will continue to fight to ensure that the Senate gives our men and women on the battlefield the support that they have earned.”