Rep. Courtney: Bush Iraq Announcement Defers Tough National Security Decisions to the Next President
Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) today issued the following statement responding to President Bush's plan to reduce force levels in Iraq:
"The President's announcement today is certainly welcome news for the families of the 8,000 troops who are coming home. The President's announcement, however, is not a significant reduction of the strain our forces in Iraq are experiencing, nor a decision that allows us to focus on the growing threat along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
"Our military forces in Iraq have done an excellent job helping to provide much needed security and stability. Yet, despite the sacrifice our troops are making, the Iraqi government continues to fail to make the political progress necessary to govern their country. If Iraqi leaders are unwilling or unable to use the space our military has provided them to tackle the challenges they face, then we must use our limited military resources to address more urgent priorities like those in Afghanistan.
"Military leaders agree that the most urgent threat to our nation comes from the safe haven that Al Qaeda and the Taliban have found in Afghanistan. However, as the President's announcement today clearly shows, our commitment in Iraq continues to prevent us from addressing this critical challenge. It is long past time for this Administration and our military to make addressing the challenge in Afghanistan our top national security priority.
"The truth is that the President has deferred his failures and the big decisions on the future of our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to the next administration. It will be up to the next president to work with Congress to rebuild our strained military forces and to address the urgent national security threat in Afghanistan."