Obama Statement on Possible Pause of Iraq Troop Reductions
Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement in response to Secretary Gates' comments on pausing troop reductions.
"I strongly disagree with the Administration's plans to "pause" the long overdue removal of our combat brigades from Iraq. We cannot wage war without end in Iraq while ignoring mounting costs to our troops and their families, our security and our economy. While the Administration puts our drawdown on permanent pause, bin Laden is on the loose, Afghanistan is sliding toward chaos, and we're spending billions of dollars a week in Baghdad instead of helping Americans who are struggling here at home. Our military leaders are concerned that Iraq is setting back our ability to respond to other priorities, and a Blue Ribbon Panel warned late last month that our National Guard is short of the equipment it needs to address crises at home. Instead of false promises and a faulty strategy, the American people need a rapid and responsible removal of our combat brigades that relieves the burden on our military, pressures the Iraqis to reconcile, and allows us to finally focus on the priorities that George Bush has neglected."