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Rep. Waters: Sending More Troops to Iraq is a Mistake

July 30, 2009
Press Release

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement regarding President Bush's speech tonight in which he announced his decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq:

"The President is making a profound mistake by increasing the number of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq.  In his speech tonight, he declared that he will send more than 20,000 troops to Iraq.  The President also said it was a mistake not sending more troops to Iraq sooner.  Tonight's decision will only compound the mistake of invading Iraq in the first place – as the saying goes, ‘when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.'  By sending more troops to Iraq, the President is digging us into a deeper hole."

"I do not believe that increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq will halt the sectarian violence that is tearing Iraq apart.  It will only result in more deaths and injuries to our men and women in uniform and the continued loss of U.S. credibility around the world."

"For the duration of the war – which will enter its fourth year in March – the President has said that he will listen to suggestions from the commanders on the ground as to an appropriate level of troops for the current operation.  In an apparent flip-flop, the President is now rejecting the advice of General Abizaid and other military officials who believe not only that the escalation will not succeed, but that it may finally break the Army and Marine Corps, which are already stretched thin."

"In another flip-flop, President Bush is refutes the words he spoke in 2005 when he celebrated the one year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq.  At the time, the President rejected sending more troops to Iraq by saying, ‘[s]ending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever.'" 

"The President rejected the one piece of advice that nearly all military and public policy experts agreed on – and importantly that the American people supported -- the use of diplomacy.  There is near universal agreement that this war cannot be won solely by military force.  Instead, the United States must use every diplomatic tool available to it, including talks with Iran and Syria."

"Sending more troops to Iraq is the wrong policy, at the wrong time.  I will work with the ‘Out of Iraq' Caucus and other Members of Congress to prevent more of our men and women in uniform from being sent to Iraq and to bring those already serving in Iraq home to their loved ones."