Congresswoman Waters Welcomes Withdrawal of Troops as First Step to End Iraq War
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus, issued the following statement:
"As founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus of the United States Congress, I salute President Obama and the Administration for living up to the commitment to wind down the war in Iraq.
When I joined with Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and other members of Congress to organize the Out of Iraq Caucus, we were concerned that the reasons for the U.S. to engage in war in Iraq were not sound and further that the war would place many young American men and women in our armed forces at great risk while also depleting resources needed for our nation's domestic agenda.
I salute our troops and military families for the sacrifices they have made honoring our country's call to serve in this war.
I am pleased that American soldiers have been transitioned out of Iraq and hope that they return home soon.
However, I am still concerned about the remaining 50,000 troops left behind in Iraq. Although their mission has changed to focus on training Iraqi security forces, American troops will still be in a combat zone and in harm's way, especially in light of the ongoing insurgent violence and flawed political processes that continue to impede the country's democratic transition.
So this action to begin removing our troops from Iraq is welcome, but it is only a first step. As the war continues to wind down, we must reexamine our approach to national security and how we view our nation's role in promoting international peace. If we are to be leaders in the world, we must always use our best judgment to determine when and how we engage other nations and other actors – particularly if we are considering actions that go beyond diplomacy.
I know I speak for many of my colleagues and fellow Americans when I say we look forward to a total end to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and while we are always prepared to meet the challenges of keeping our nation safe and secure, we value the lives of our young men and women in uniform who bear the brunt of the responsibility for our decisions.
My thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the more than 4,415 brave men and women who lost their lives in the seven years we occupied Iraq. I believe their legacy and heroism will live on in history and with the servicemembers who fought alongside them."