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 President Obama's scheduled meeting Friday with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki:
"I warned in 2011 that the failure of the Obama Administration to negotiate a well-planned transition in Iraq would jeopardize the country’s long-term stability and would threaten to undo all that our men and women in uniform fought and died for. The hasty withdrawal of the United States from Iraq nearly two years ago has been followed by a deteriorating security situation, an increasingly confident Iran, and a resurgence of al-Qaeda. Violence is at its highest level in years, Iranian influence is growing, and al-Qaeda has regained a safe haven from which to plan and launch terrorist attacks. Until Prime Minister Maliki undertakes the security, political and economic reforms necessary to bring stability and prosperity to the Iraqi people, the situation will continue to deteriorate and U.S. security interests in the region will be increasingly threatened. President Obama must make clear the urgency of these reforms to Prime Minister Maliki during their meeting this week. Such reforms will enable the United States to more effectively support Iraq and advance our mutual interests of security and stability."
On Oct. 29, Inhofe joined SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and Sens. McCain (R-Ariz.) and Graham (R-S.C.) in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to take steps that will bring stability to the country and protect U.S. national security interests in Iraq. The full text of the letter can be read by clicking here.