Right now, approximately 140,000 brave American men and women are serving in Iraq. Their service and that of those who have preceded them has been nothing short of exemplary and heroic.
I want us to succeed in Iraq. Since coming to Congress in January, I have spoken with Hoosier veterans and constituents from across the Second District and I have met with Administration officials. I have met with former Indiana Congressman and Iraq Study Group co-Chairman Lee Hamilton and I have talked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in an effort to figure out how we must proceed. There are no easy answers.
Right now, our nation-and our men and women in uniform-need good, honest leadership. Congress must ask tough questions of the Administration, while being careful not to fall into the pitfalls of partisan finger-pointing or gamesmanship. While I oppose cutting funds for troops in the field, we also need to be honest with the Iraqis that our commitment to them is not unconditional or open-ended. I have serious concerns about our brave troops serving in the middle of what is becoming an increasingly dangerous Iraqi civil war.
Ultimately, the Iraqi people must provide the solution to their problems and demonstrate the will to move forward. Toward this goal, I believe we must do everything possible to accelerate the training and deployment of properly equipped Iraqi military and police forces so that we can hasten the day that the Iraqis are able to take over security operations and our troops can begin to come home.