Today, Representative Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA32, joined President Obama in saluting the end of the war in Iraq, with all U.S. troops being brought home from Iraq by December 31.
"Under President Obama's leadership, we have reached a critical milestone for America with the Iraq War now ending," Rep. Chu said. "Over the past nine years, more than a million of our brave U.S. servicemen and women have fought in the war in Iraq. Tragically, during that time, nearly 4,500 -- including 478 Californians, the highest toll of any state in the Union -- have made the ultimate sacrifice, and more than 23,000 -- including 3,094 Californians -- have been wounded. I join all Americans in honoring all of their service and sacrifice, and those of their families, with the responsible end of the war."
"Responsibly ending the Iraq War makes us stronger around the world -- and at home -- and that is what the President has done," said Rep. Chu. "And I now call on President Obama to continue making us stronger by bringing home our remaining troops in Afghanistan. After 10 years of conflict there, it is time to allow the Afghan people to take control of their security and their destiny, and to focus our nation's efforts toward caring for our returning veterans and supporting our economic recovery."
"With the end of the war in Iraq, we can focus on nation building at home," added Rep. Chu said. "It's time to invest in the American people -- creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and building an American future worthy of our veterans' sacrifice."
The Iraq War started in 2003 under President Bush. Since that time, approximately $1 trillion has been spent on the war.
Under President Bush, Democrats in Congress for years called for bringing a responsible end to the war. For example, Democrats pushed for responsible timelines that would significantly speed up the training of Iraqi forces, the transfer of security responsibilities to the Iraqis, and redeployment of U.S. troops. Democrats also worked to crack down on notorious waste, fraud, and abuse of U.S. contractors in Iraq. In addition, Democrats were successful in better protecting U.S. troops in harm's way -- leading the fight for funding for more body armor for our troops and more Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
Under President Obama, in the Democratic-controlled 111th Congress, Democrats worked closely with the President to begin bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end. Since January 2009, nearly 150,000 U.S. troops have been removed from Iraq and hundreds of bases have been shut down. In the next two weeks, the final U.S. forces will come home and no U.S. bases will remain. For the first time in nearly nine years, no U.S. troops will be preparing to deploy to Iraq.
"With their welcomed homecoming, we are dedicated to keeping our sacred trust to our veterans. We will continue to provide all who served with the care and benefits they have earned, while working to ensure they return to good jobs and decent wages as they come home. On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind," pledged Rep. Chu.