CARTER STATEMENT ON PETRAEUS/CROCKER REPORT
House Conference Secretary John Carter (R-Fort Hood, Texas) made the following statement today as General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker delivered testimony to the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committee on the status of our troops' progress in Iraq:
"Today General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker gave a very honest and clear assessment of the situation on the ground in Iraq. There is no doubt that Iraq is safer and more stable than it was a year ago, and we have our soldiers to thank for this undeniable success.
"As the Representative for Fort Hood, the largest military base in the nation, I have the privilege of meeting with our soldiers both at home an on the ground in Iraq. I can tell you that they believe strongly in their mission and the success they are achieving. Violence in Iraq is down, and I have witnessed first-hand our American soldiers working with Iraqi forces to bring their country to a more secure state. Political reconciliation is coming along slowly, but it is happening. The Iraqi government has met 12 of the 18 benchmarks, while continuing to make progress on the remainder of them.
"We must realize that the stability of Iraq is fragile and attempt to pull out our troops prematurely will only devastate the progress being made in the region, putting the security of our country in grave danger. General Petraeus is a man of integrity and we owe it to him and our troops the serious consideration of this report. We also need to send our men and women in uniform the funds and resources they need to be both safe and successful.
"It is clear we have a choice to make here in Washington. We can surrender our success, or we can put our political battles aside, work together to give our troops what they need to succeed, and bring them home under the American flag, not the white flag of defeat."