The American military involvement in the Iraq War has caused almost 4,500 American deaths and over 33,000 wounded -- and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. The war has cost American taxpayers over $780 billion at a time when domestic programs are being slashed.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) are asking colleagues to sign a letter to the President urging all troops to leave by the end of the year.
They write: “Leaving troops and military contractors in Iraq beyond the deadline is not in our nation’s security interests, it is not in our nation’s strategic interests, and it is not in our nation’s economic interests.”
I hope both Reps. Shelley Berkley and Joe Heck will sign-on to their letter.
Maintaining U.S. troops in a hostile environment when an overwhelming majority of the population is adamantly opposed to their presence is not only foolhardy but also counter-productive, especially when there is an agreement with the host nation government to withdraw them by a date certain.
It is evident that U.S. troops are not welcome in Iraq. Should the Iraqi government reluctantly agree to allow U.S. forces to remain in country despite the provision of the Status of Forces agreement to the contrary, its delicate political balance is likely to crumble, and a small contingent of American combat troops will be sitting ducks, subject to attack. As an American Army infantryman who was in VietNam during the final stages of our involvement in that conflict, I know that only too well.
The time has come for all American combat troops and military contractors to withdraw from Iraq in accordance with Status of Forces agreement.