Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on Army Chief of Staff General George Casey's comments to reporters yesterday that the stress of repeated Iraq deployments is affecting the quality of Army recruits, midlevel officer retention, and other factors that are critical for Army readiness.
"Now approaching its fifth anniversary, the war in Iraq has undermined our military readiness and our ability to confront real threats to our nation.
"General Casey's comments are another reminder that the Iraq war continues to strain our armed forces and is diminishing our military readiness and come only two weeks after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen testified before Congress that our troops are significantly stressed.'
"General Casey and Admiral Mullen's statements come on the heels of growing concerns by military officers, 88 percent of whom said in a poll this week that they believe the demands of the war have stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin.'
"Americans are rightly concerned about how much longer our nation must continue to sacrifice our security for the sake of an Iraqi government that is unwilling or unable to secure its own future. America wants a New Direction, not the continuation of the President's plan for a 10-year, trillion dollar war in Iraq."