WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the one-year anniversary of President Bush’s announcement that he would deploy an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq:
“On January 10, 2007, President Bush announced that he would send an additional 20,000 U.S. troops to Iraq to secure the country in order to pave the way for political progress. In the President’s own words, he assured that he had ‘made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.’
“One year later, the main objective of the surge – Iraqi political reconciliation - has not been achieved. Political progress has come to a near standstill, and most of the established benchmarks for progress- including provincial elections, the passage of de-Baathification laws, and a plan for oil revenue-sharing - are far from reach.
“To be certain, our men and women in uniform have performed magnificently, carrying out their mission with unmistakable skill and valor. But Iraqi leaders are simply not taking advantage of the reduction in violence to create the political reconciliation necessary for Iraq to become a stable, secure nation capable of true democratic reform.
“Without the commitment of Iraq’s government to pursue real political change, the U.S. commitment cannot continue. Consistent with his word, the President should work with Congress to end America’s open-ended commitment in Iraq, starting with the safe and responsible redeployment of our troops.”