Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has released a statement expressing his serious concern over proposals to increase the U.S. presence in Iraq by up to 50,000 troops:
“The recent speculation in the press regarding an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 or even 50,000 troops in Iraq has left me with many concerns. Everything I’ve heard and everything I know to be true lead me to believe that this increase at best won’t change a thing, and at worst could exacerbate the situation even further. I am also extremely concerned about the additional burden that would be placed on the Army and Marine Corps.
“The Iraqis need to understand that responsibility for the future of that country is theirs. Beginning the redeployment of some number of American forces would send that message. I urge the President to carefully consider this option to help move the political situation in Iraq forward.
Yesterday, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he could support a brief increase in troop levels but only as part of a plan for phased withdrawal. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), a member of the Armed Services Committee, have said they do not favor troop increases.
Read Skelton’s full statement: Read more