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June 12, 2014

Inhofe Statement on Deteriorating Situation in Iraq and Future of Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement concerning the deteriorating situation in Iraq after a briefing by the Department of Defense: 

"President Obama’s failed strategy in Iraq contributed to the chaos we are seeing today.  Al Qaeda inspired terrorists have returned and are overtaking key cities including Fallujah, Tikrit and Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. He squandered the significant gains our troops made possible in Iraq at great cost in blood and treasure. He failed to listen to his commanders on the ground. He failed to finish negotiations on a Status of Forces agreement that would have allowed continued training and support of Iraqi forces. He failed to understand the global impact of America’s retreat from Iraq.  Today, the security situation is collapsing; terrorist groups are growing; and Iranian influence in Iraq and throughout the Middle East is increasing.  This is a direct result of the vacuum created by the Obama Administration’s failure of leadership and failed foreign policy. It is giving terrorists a safe haven in Iraq, Syria, and soon Afghanistan, and will bring terrorists to our door step. 

"Yesterday, I spoke with Gen. Joseph Dunford, our top commander on the ground in Afghanistan and commander of International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF), and reiterated my strong support for the men and women serving courageously under his command. I also told him that I’m deeply concerned about the future of the mission in Afghanistan. President Obama’s reckless decision to  release five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo increases the threat to the fragile government of Afghanistan, legitimizes the Taliban, and comes on the heels of the President’s announcement to withdraw troops at the end of 2016 without consideration of the conditions on the ground.  President Obama is determined to get out of Afghanistan at any cost, regardless of how it undermines our national security. His plan will make Afghanistan at the end of 2016 look like Iraq at the end of 2011, condemning Afghanistan’s future to Iraq’s fate that we see today.           

Beginning in 2010continuing in 2011, and through 2013, Inhofe has warned that the Obama Administration’s lack of a strategic vision that should be based on the facts on the ground, as opposed to tactical remedies based on the politics of the hour, would lead to the deteriorating security situation and destabilization of Iraq that we are witnessing today. 

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