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Wicker Responds to Testimony from Gen....

Wicker Responds to Testimony from Gen. Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 9, 2008

Wicker Responds to Testimony from Gen. Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker

Following testimony today about conditions in Iraq by
General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before the Senate
Armed Services Committee, Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), a member of
the committee, released the following statement:

“I appreciate the honest assessment given today by General Petraeus and
Ambassador Crocker about the situation on the ground in Iraq. The two
of them – and the dedicated men and women in our military – deserve our
country’s thanks for the remarkable work they continue to do.

“There can be no mistaking the progress made in Iraq. From June 2007 to
February 2008, deaths resulting from sectarian violence in Baghdad
dropped 90 percent, while American casualties dropped 70 percent.
Security improvements across the country have made political
reconciliation possible, with Iraqis making real progress on benchmark
legislation on such critical issues as provincial elections,
de-Baathification, amnesty and the budget.

“While progress has been made, challenges and threats still remain. The
Iraqi Security Forces have shown steady improvement, but still have a
ways to go. Al Qaeda has been significantly weakened in Iraq, but still
remains a threat. And Iran continues to train and equip extremists,
which threatens both our soldiers’ safety and the recent progress made
in Iraq.

“These continued threats pose real challenges to the stability of the
Middle East and the security of our nation. This makes it more
important than ever to tie decisions made about Iraq to the facts on the
ground and the recommendations of General Petraeus. I want our troops
to come home as soon as possible. However, bringing them home against
the will of their commanders on the ground would endanger our national
security and place at risk the recent progress made possible by the
sacrifice of many.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.