Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today reacted to President Obama's announcement of the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq.
"Today the President announced the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq by the end of the year. Over a million Americans who served, thousands from Mississippi, and their Iraqi partners can be proud of what we achieved since 2003. In the past nine years of conflict, America called on members of our armed forces to sacrifice tremendously for the freedom and security of Iraq. Mississippians too paid a great price for America's involvement in Iraq. With all of the sacrifices made to remove a brutal dictator and build democracy in Iraq, I hope that Iraq will always look to the United States as a partner for freedom in the world.
"As a member of House Armed Service Committee and as a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, I remain concerned that a full withdrawal of US forces may create a difficult security situation for Iraq in the future. Many experts have testified before the Armed Services Committee that Iraq still lacks important capacities to maintain their internal stability. I am gravely concerned by the growing Iranian influence in the region and their ability and desire to threaten the hard earned milestones of Iraq's young Democracy in the absence of a U.S. presence in the country."