September 16, 2014

Braley says it’s ‘not a smart move’ to get involved in another Iraq war

Democratic congressman Bruce Braley says President Obama should be cautious about re-committing U.S. military might in Iraq.

“I think after 10 years of investing American treasure and blood on the soil of Iraq, it is not a smart move to get involved in another prolonged, sectarian war in Iraq,” Braley says.

Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo who is running for the U.S. Senate this year, has supported something called “The Trust Cost of War Act.” It’s a measure that would require the Obama Administration to report on the “human and financial” costs of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I think every American is disturbed by what they’re seeing from Iraq, but I think they’re also very disturbed that the billions of dollars that we spent to train and arm and equip the Iraqi army and police forces have resulted in many of those same trained soldiers and police officers abandoning their posts,” Braley says.

Starting with his first campaign for congress in 2006, Braley argued for a withdrawal timeline that would require Iraqis to assume the responsibility for the security of their country.

“Iowans want to see the Iraqi people and the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police forces stand up for themselves,” Braley says, “and they have to do it.”

Militants calling themselves the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” have pushed to within 40 miles of Baghdad. Gun battles have been reported between Iraqi security forces and the militants there, while Kurdish forces are attacking the militants on a northern flank. President Obama has sent nearly 300 U.S. soldiers into Iraq to secure U.S. assets in the country, like the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush and five other U.S. warships are now in the Persian Gulf, with more than 500 Marines on stand-by.