Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he found little to change his views on the situation in Iraq after hearing comments from the commander of the U.S. troops there. General David Petraeus has been testifying before House and Senate committees the last two days.
Braley says:"Last September General Petraeus said that we could begin redeploying our troops when the security situation improved. Now that he says the security situation has improved, he says we can’t redeploy our troops or else the security situation will get worse. And all the time in the world won’t get the Iraqis to come together for the political reconciliation unless they want to do that." Braley has been a critic of the administration’s policy in Iraq and says things don’t appear to be getting better.
Braley says our troops are spread thin across the globe and the joint chiefs of the military have "expressed serious concerns about their readiness status and that’s a huge security problem for this country as long as we continue to funnel money, arms and men and women into a lost cause in Iraq." Braley says the U.S. has to refocus on the war against terror in Afghanistan "and we need to make a tough decision and show the Iraqis that we are not going to be in Iraq forever." Braley says the House will try to address the pullout of Iraq again during budget hearings.
Braley says he understands they will push something the will provide enough funding to "keep our troops safe and at the same time tie it to a specific timetable for withdrawal." Braley says if the president vetoes the timetable for withdrawal again, they will have to look at what else is available.