Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, chairwoman of the House Armed Forces Strategic Forces Subcommittee, departed today for Iraq as the head of a bipartisan congressional delegation which will meet with U.S troops and commanders, U.S. and Iraqi officials, and members of the Iraqi Parliament. Before taking off, she issued this statement:
“In less than a month General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will report to Congress on what if any progress has been made by the Bush administration’s troop surge policy. I am traveling to Iraq ahead of this report so that my colleagues and I can get a first-hand view of our troop status as well as the political environment in Iraq. Anyone familiar with the bravery and efficiency of the United States military could predict that a surge of twenty thousand troops would increase security for a period of time; a military strategy alone isn’t a wise or sustainable policy. I’m going to Iraq to look for any signs of a political surge — signs that the Iraqi Parliament and military are ready to take control of their own future. Only when we see these signs can we be fully confident that any real and lasting progress has been made toward stabilizing Iraq.”
Tauscher is being accompanied on the trip by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who serves on the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., who serves on the Ways and Means and Budget committees.