On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said that proposals to withdraw troops and restore the strength of the armed forces are “legislating a defeat” in Iraq.
This afternoon on CNN, responding to Lieberman’s criticisms, Webb reminded the public that he was warning in September 2002 that we were “heading for trouble” if we went to war in Iraq:
I was warning about the consequences of invading and occupying Iraq well before we went in. … I don’t know where Sen. Lieberman gets his opinions about how well we’re doing. [...]
You have a government in Iraq that has no power. It has very little power — it cannot compel action and it’s surrounded by armed factions that retain the power. That is not a situation we’re going to resolve without the interaction of all the countries in the region in a positive, proactive diplomatic way. And that’s what I’ve been saying for three years.
Webb is sponsoring an amendment that would restore the strength of the military by requiring every soldier who is deployed overseas to receive at least the same amount of rest when they return home. Senate conservatives have announced that they will filibuster the bill.
In a statement for ThinkProgress, Center for American Progress senior fellow Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense, said:
Regardless of whether a member supports a phased withdrawal of American forces from Iraq or continues to support President Bush’s latest escalation, he or she should support the Webb-Hagel amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill.
It takes two full years at home or after a one year deployment for a unit to become fully combat ready. Spending a year at home after a year in the combat zone is barely enough time to get themselves marginally ready physically and mentally for the next deployment. Giving them last time would mean sending units and individuals into battle who are not combat ready.
Members cannot vote against Webb-Hagel and claim they support the troops. Sending people back for another tour without the same amount of time at home as the length of their tour is wrong strategically and morally.