Statement by the Senator Mark Pryor On Senate Resolution 95:
Commending the President and the Armed Forces of the United States of America
MR. PRESIDENT. Yesterday our mission to disarm the Iraqi regime began. It is my hope that our actions will deliver the people of Iraq from a brutal dictator and help bring peace and stability to a volatile region.
Our commanders in the field have developed an operations plan that will maximize the power of our forces and I have no doubts about their capabilities to successfully achieve their military objectives.
I commend the President for promptly addressing the nation last night. It is important that he continues to keep Congress and the public informed of our military actions and the status of our mission. And I agree with his assessment that we should not view this war in terms of timetables. To speculate at this point would be counter-productive. Rather, we should view this conflict in terms of meeting our strategic and tactical goals.
As a United States Senator and member of the Armed Services Committee, I stand ready to work with my colleagues and the President to provide any and all support possible to ensure the success of our military forces conducting these operations.
Mr. President, our nation is a nation of diverse views, ideologies and opinions. We might not all agree on how or why we arrived at this point; nonetheless, we must come together as a country and support those servicemen and women who are currently risking life and limb.
As we stand here today, over 300,000 United States Military personnel, including a number of Arkansans, are forward deployed in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the waters and skies all around the world and at bases around the country. Mr. President, they put themselves in harm's way not for personal aggrandizement or advancement, but for immense love of country, liberty, and family. If they can hear me today, I say be assured, for the American people are behind you.
When appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago, General John Keane, Vice Chief of Staff for the United States Army, testified to the courage of our military personnel. He said when asked what their greatest challenge was, his division commanders replied "keeping our soldiers from being too brave." We owe these men and women overseas and at home not only our gratitude, but also our very existence as the only country on earth committed to promoting and spreading the ideals of democracy. Our military has kept us safe for over 200 years. We cannot thank them enough.
Just as we should thank our military overseas and at home, we should thank our first responders that protect our hometowns. Firefighters, police, and health care personnel risk their lives and sacrifice precious time with their families every day to keep us safe from those who would try to do us harm. Their commitment and contributions to national security and homeland security should not be forgotten.
Mr. President, I urge all Americans to pray for our troops, their families, and our President as we defend our nation and the world from those that seek to do us harm.