The Act states:
To require the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States Armed Forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008, and for other purposes.Our congressman, Baron Hill, released a statement in support of HR 2956 and voted YEA.
After reading the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report on Iraq, I have made the difficult decision to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.This is an excellent, responsible, bill from the respected Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-04) to begin a change in course in Iraq. Redeployment has long been on the table as a responsible option forward - advocated by leading military experts and former US Generals. While the White House and its staunch supporters try to move the goalposts as to the 'Surge,' more members of the Presidents party continue to break from his failed strategy in Iraq.
In not meeting these three incredibly important benchmarks, the Iraqi government has further signaled its resistance and unwillingness to make real progress and control extremists. In addition, the fact that calls for economic and diplomatic surges have gone largely unheeded, such as those from the Iraq Study Group, has left a large gap in the overall foreign policy strategy toward Iraq. These factors, combined with the loss of far too many of our soldiers’ lives in Iraq, have led me to the decision that the President continues to simply promote more of the same. A stay-the-course strategy will have an increasingly detrimental impact on our military readiness and our country’s future, both domestically and internationally. It is time to start the process of safely redeploying our troops out of Iraq.Redeployment must not be confused with a cut-and-run strategy. Redeployment entails moving our troops to strategic locations throughout the Middle East to confront terrorism on its front lines, while bringing some of our troops back home to their families. The intention of this bill is not to turn our backs on Iraq and the Middle East. Instead, the intention is to provide respite for our war-weary troops and the American people, while reinvigorating the world’s best soldiers to have the capability to confront terrorists throughout the world.
Further, following the release of the intelligence assessment that Al Qaeda has regained pre-9/11 strength despite (and most likely, becasue of) our sustained presence in Iraq - this is the best way forward in re-directing American military policy towards Afganistan, Al Qaeda, and directly confronting international terrorism threats to the US and its allies.
We applaud Rep. Hill in his difficult vote - and his commitment to promoting a strong and smart American policy towards terrorism.