U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD, said today that “while the White House has highlighted the hard-won successes of U.S. troops in Iraq, both the report and independent evidence confirm that the goals of the troop escalation — increased security, increased capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces, and political reconciliation — remain beyond reach.
It is past time to remove our soldiers from the midst of a civil war.”
The Senator, a member of the Senate Foreign Services Committee, said the interim report on Iraq requested by Congress clearly reveals that the overall security situation in Iraq remains the same: that the Iraqi Security Forces remain divided along sectarian lines, and most importantly, the political situation has deteriorated. One third of the Iraqi Cabinet, including the major Sunni party and the party of Muqtada Al Sadr, is currently boycotting the government preventing any real progress toward key political benchmarks.
Meanwhile, the war is undermining U.S. diplomatic relationships, sapping the strength of our military, and, according to today’s news reports, making it possible for Al Qaeda to rebuild and gain strength.
“All available evidence clearly shows that it is time to remove our troops from Iraq and internationalize the effort to bring stability to that country. The
world has an interest in a safe and secure Iraq, and I believe that efforts to rebuild the country must be a shared responsibility among nations,” said Senator Cardin. “I applaud efforts like the International Compact with Iraq, which was signed in May in Egypt, and I believe the United States must continue efforts, along with our democratic allies and Iraq’s Middle Eastern neighbors, to pursue avenues to peace.
As the Iraq Study Group has noted, we need to find a long-term diplomatic solution if we are to bring peace to Iraq.”
“I continue to urge the President to work in a bipartisan manner with Congress to
craft a strategy that will bring about a change of policy in Iraq to improve our national security and enable us to bring our soldiers home.”