HOLT STATEMENT ON THE TESTIMONY OF U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ RYAN CROCKER AND GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS ON THE MILITARY AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN IRAQ
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today issued the following statement on the joint testimony of U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Multinational Force-Iraq commander General David Petraeus before a joint session of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees:
"In the Counterinsurgency Field Manual that General Petraeus helped write, it states that Long-term success in [counterinsurgency] depends on the people taking charge of their own affairs and consenting to the government's rule.' I heard nothing today from Ambassador Crocker or General Petraeus to give me any confidence that Iraq's leaders are taking charge of security for their country or that a political reconciliation can be brokered by the current government. Neither witness acknowledged the Maliki government's primary responsibility for the continued sectarian divisions and lack of progress towards a political settlement, an omission that gave their testimony an Alice-in-Wonderland quality.
"We cannot continue to ask our troops to risk life and limb to protect Iraqi leaders who won't make the changes necessary to end Iraq's civil war. What I heard from Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus today has only reinforced my conviction that Iraq's leaders will only take responsibility for their country's security when they know we are leaving. It's time for the President to work with us to plan for the orderly and expeditious withdrawal of American forces from Iraq."