Matheson: Petraeus Report Does Not Offer New Strategy
Congressman Jim Matheson released the following statement in response to testimony today by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before the House Armed Services and International Relations Committees today:
"The initial reason given for the military surge was to buy breathing room' for the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military to meet security, legislative and economic benchmarks set out by the Bush administration. Three recent reports from independent sources have concluded that these objectives are not being met. My initial opposition to the surge was based on the bipartisan Iraq Study Group report, which said that by itself, military action won't produce a successful outcome in Iraq. The Iraq Study Group called for a new comprehensive strategy in Iraq many months ago - and the Iraq Study Group report continues to offer guidance that I believe should be followed.
Our troops have, as always, performed heroically. However, I am worried about the wear and tear on our military, particularly our ground forces. This is of particular concern since the most recent National Intelligence Estimate describes rising terrorist threats elsewhere in the region. The number one job we have is to protect our national security - right now our greatest threat comes from terrorist cells growing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The growing body of evidence suggests that our government needs a strategy to begin moving U.S. resources from a combat role in Iraq to meet other pressing demands with regard to counter-terrorism and training of the Iraqi military."