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KTOK - Coburn Says Iraqis Must Do More

Location: Topeka, KS

KTOK - Coburn Says Iraqis Must Do More

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn says the situation in Iraq continues to be a difficult challenge.

By Tim Granahan

September 13, 2006

"I think it's a very sobering situation. It's going to be difficult at best. It is complicated both by sectarianism and the complications of a new government....and probably by the fact that anything that complicated is easy to unwind and difficult to put together." Oklahoma U.S. Senator Tom Coburn offers that assessment, following his return from Iraq.

Coburn tells KTOK's First News with Reid Mullins says U.S. troops in Iraq continue to do a fantastic job, in a difficult situation.

Asked about the continued violence in Iraq says he's more impressed with the Iraqi police, and military now that he's seen the situation in person. He says authorities have been culling non-loyal Iraqis from military and law enforcement positions, making those forces much more stable.

Nonetheless Coburn says, "I came back worried, that the job is still very big, but also committed that we have to be effective there."

Asked whether a drawdown of American troops in Iraq appears anywhere on the horizon, Coburn says, "I think it all depends on what happens with the new Iraqi government." He says the Senate delegation had a message for Iraqi government leaders, "Get off your rear ends." He says the American people are not going to continue to support Iraq, without significant progress.

Coburn says there's potential for things to work out, but it will require continued execution on the part of the U.S. military, and much better execution by the U.S. State Department, which he says hasn't done a good job.

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