"Having served in Iraq as commander of a large task force, I personally witnessed the courage and sacrifice of our troops who served there. As U.S. forces withdrew in 2011, President Obama's administration failed to negotiate an agreement with Iraq that would have allowed a limited U.S. military presence to help the Iraqis keep extremist groups from filling the power vacuum. Instead, America quickly turned its attention away from Iraq and, in the past two years, allowed ultra-radical jihadist groups to grow rapidly in both Iraq and Syria.
I'm deeply troubled that in just thirteen years after 9/11, this Administration already has forgotten what preceded those attacks-al Qaeda establishment of a sanctuary in Afghanistan. What al Qaeda had in Afghanistan was nothing compared to the situation now in Syria and Iraq, where a variety of terrorist organizations control large amounts of land and natural resources and have amassed heavy weaponry.
President Obama likes to take credit for "ending the war in Iraq." By failing to withdraw responsibly, however, he left a power vacuum in the region that extremist groups swiftly and forcefully filled. In essence, he didn't end the war, but rather gave away our hard-earned victory and ensured the potential for further conflict. The Iraqi government is not blameless either. They squandered the opportunity our troops gave them to begin the reconciliation process between their different factions and slowly unify their country. The crisis in Iraq is ultimately up to the Iraqis to solve.
For months, both Congress and the Pentagon have warned the White House about the worsening situation in Iraq to no avail. The United States has no good options here. But it's incumbent on the president to immediately layout a plan of action moving forward.
Thousands of Americans and allied troops have served bravely and selflessly in Iraq, and many of them sacrificed their lives or carry emotional, psychological and physical scars. The fact that we have squandered their sacrifices is reprehensible."
This document was issued by Scott Perry and was initially posted at perry.house.gov. It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2014-06-14 01:02:58. The original document issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.