Senate Democrats

Reid: Americans Deserve Open, Honest Assessment Of Situation On The Ground In Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today:

“The DOD’s latest quarterly report on Iraq confirms that the war is headed in a dangerous direction. Attacks on U.S. forces are up, not down. And Iraqi political leaders are frozen in a dangerous stalemate. It’s clear the President’s current strategy is not working and a change at every front is required if we are to succeed. That is why I was pleased when Secretary Gates announced his intention to nominate a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

“General Peter Pace is a distinguished military veteran and public servant. Unfortunately, in my opinion he was never as candid as he should have been about the conduct and progress of this war.

“It is my hope that Admiral Michael Mullen, if confirmed as the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, will speak up and pull no punches. I also look forward to General Petreaus’s September report to Congress on the President’s escalation policy. We are counting on him to give a fair, honest and frank assessment that tracks with the reality of the situation on the ground. The American people and our soldiers in the field deserve no less.

“It is incumbent upon the President, the Pentagon and our commanders in the field to give us the information that we need to hear, not what we want to hear. It is the only way we in Congress will be able to make the right decisions as we work to change course in Iraq and responsibly end this war.”