Rep. Andrews Reacts to General Petraeus' Testimony on Iraq
This week's testimony from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker confirms for me that the problem in Iraq is a political problem, not a military problem, and no amount of military force will ever legitimize this dysfunctional Iraqi government. I continue to believe that we must begin an orderly withdrawal of American forces beginning within the next 90 days and to be completed over the course of the next 18 months. The method and manner by which to withdraw our troops should be decided by our military leaders so as to best ensure the safety of these troops.
On January 11, 2007, Secretary Gates said in a briefing "the term 'surge' has been used in relation to increasing U.S. troop levels and an increase certainly will take place... [But] we cannot succeed in Iraq without the important non-military elements Secretary Rice just mentioned."
Despite the outstanding effort and sacrifice by the men and women in our military, the surge has been unsuccessful due to the fact that non-military elements referred to by the Secretary have failed. Specifically, the Iraqi government has failed to instill faith and trust in the Iraqi people. It is time for the Iraqi government and its people to stand up, and for the American men and women serving in our military to come home.