WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, headed by retired Marine General James Jones, issued a report that, among other things, found that Iraq’s army will not be able to take responsibility for internal security from American forces for another 12 to 18 months, and which called Iraq’s Interior Ministry “dysfunctional” and recommended that the national police force be disbanded and reorganized:
“While the Bush Administration will undoubtedly try to spin the findings of the Jones’ Commission, the truth is that this report – when coupled with the recent National Intelligence Estimate and a report this week by the independent Government Accountability Office – is highly disturbing and further evidence that the President’s policy is failing.
“After four and one-half years of war, the loss of nearly 3,800 American servicemen and women and injuries to thousands of others, and the expenditure of more than $400 billion by taxpayers, the security situation on the ground in Iraq today is tenuous at best, while the imperative of Iraqi political reconciliation is virtually non-existent.
“Most notably, the Commission headed by General Jones states that Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which is supposed to operate the national police force, is riddled with corruption and sectarianism, ‘dysfunctional,’ and a ‘ministry in name only.’ The Commission recommends that the national police force be disbanded and reorganized, and it stresses the importance of Iraqi political reconciliation – which has not and is not occurring.
“This new report is just the latest independent evidence that the President’s stay-the-course strategy in Iraq is not working and that we must make a strategic redeployment and commence a diplomatic surge. It is critical that we refocus our efforts on combating global terrorism and not force our troops to referee a civil war.”