Granger Statement on Testimonies of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), Vice Chair of the Republican Conference, today released the following statement following the testimonies of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker to Congress.
“Our nation is fortunate to have heard today from two of our most forthright and authoritative military and diplomatic experts. The testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker at this critical time in our nation’s history comes with their best judgment, based on their long and distinguished careers. I value the facts and judgments that they presented and will use today’s testimony to give this issue the comprehensive and thoughtful review that it deserves.
“Three things are abundantly clear to me after closely listening to their statements.
“First, we are making significant military progress in Iraq. Sectarian violence, the use of improvised explosive devices and attacks on Coalition forces are all markedly down since the surge began just over six months ago. In fact, the level of attacks in Iraq overall are down by nearly 40 percent since the surge began in earnest just three months ago. We have begun to turn the tide in Iraq and we owe our men and women in uniform a debt of gratitude for this. The improved security situation has given General Petraeus the ability to recommend that 30,000 troops be withdrawn from Iraq within the next ten months.
“Second, as other government reports have indicated, the Iraqi Security Forces need our continued help, but the progress that they are making is real and credible. Iraqi military and local police units are standing and fighting alongside American units every single day. With some help from American and British units, 95 of the 140 Iraqi Army battalions are now capable of taking the lead in securing their areas of operation and this capacity is expanding each day. While some police elements in the Ministry of Interior have clearly demonstrated that they are a part of the problem and not the solution, it is clear that Iraqis are increasingly taking charge of their own destiny. I am hopeful that this irrefutable fact will sew the seeds of a successful and viable government in Iraq.
“Third, the consequences of failure in Iraq remain both profound and grave. Congress has received seven reports on Iraq over the past nine months and all of them say the same thing: a premature and abrupt departure from Iraq would be disastrous not only for Iraq but for the free world. Today, both General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have clearly and powerfully reinforced this view.
“There is absolutely no question that al Qaida and other terrorist organizations with global reach chose to make Iraq the central front in their war against us and that they would turn Iraq into a hotbed of terrorist training and a launching pad for attacks against the West. Additionally, Iran and Syria would be the biggest winners should the United States leave Iraq before it is stable and capable of defending its own borders. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has openly stated his nation’s desire to fill any vacuum in Iraq that would be presented by an American withdrawal.
“Let there be no mistake. There are no quick and easy fixes to the difficult situation that we face in Iraq and much work remains to be done there. A lack of political reconciliation at the national level, a pressing humanitarian crisis and continued economic stagnation are all problems that need to be addressed swiftly. But advocating defeat and retreating from the face of terrorism in Iraq would bring irrefutable danger.
“I look forward to working with leadership from both parties and the Administration in the coming weeks. Together, I am confident that we can find the national resolve to prevail in Iraq. No other option should be acceptable to the American people.”