WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today reacted to President Obama’s announcement about the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
“President Obama played politics with our men and women in uniform when he worked to cut funding for troops in Iraq and when he repeatedly assailed the troop surge,” Inhofe said. “Obama is playing politics again. Claiming that he is fulfilling a campaign promise to bring all ‘combat’ troops home by August 2010, he is aiming more at winning political points and less at solidifying our successes in Iraq. The reality of today is that the 50,000 troops will be remaining in Iraq until final withdrawal. Stating otherwise is a misleading disservice to those that are serving in Iraq.
Inhofe continued, “The troops that remain are in-fact combat troops from ‘combat maneuver brigades.’ Though these troops and their support units will be shifting their focus from combat missions to the role of advising, assisting and providing support to Iraqi Security Forces, they are still combat troops who will continue to be in harm’s way. Our senior civilian and military leadership must ensure they are not portraying an incorrect image to the American and Iraqi people. Americans must remember that we will have American service members, in combat units, deployed to Iraq, until at least December 2011.
“Iraq still has a long way to go as they continue to develop their democracy and build their own security forces. Going forward, we must remain committed to the Iraqi people as we continue to foster our strategic ties with the country. Conditions on the ground, not politics, must continue to dictate and define our strategy in Iraq.”