Larsen Statement on the Need for a New Direction in Iraq</A

Jul 12, 2007

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement today on the need for a new direction in Iraq following the Administration’s release of the Iraq interim assessment report required by Congress.  Later today, Larsen will vote in favor of the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act (H.R. 2956).

 "The interim report from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker shows mixed progress. But on two of the most important benchmarks –political reconciliation and the quality and efforts of the Iraqi security forces – progress has been wholly unsatisfactory.

 “Recent reports outlining the resurgence of al-Qaida point to the failure of President Bush’s war policy despite nearly six years of Administration efforts.  

 “Today’s interim report shows that despite four and a half years of Administration efforts, Iraqis still aren’t taking responsibility for their own future.

 “Furthermore, leaked reports on the pending National Intelligence Estimate show once again that the Administration’s focus on Iraq as the central front in our fight against terrorists is misplaced.

 “The United States needs to end our military involvement in Iraq’s civil war and re-focus our efforts on killing terrorists wherever they are, including Iraq.

 “We need to move forward with responsible redeployment, which would focus U.S. military efforts on missions such as fighting al-Qaida, training Iraqi security forces and protecting Iraq’s borders.

 “What we’re doing in Iraq is interfering with fighting terrorists and interfering with the readiness of our military.”