July 17, 2007

CRAPO: IRAQ SURGE REMAINS BEST OPTION

September report on military build-up provides opportunity for review

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says efforts by Senate leaders to promote around-the-clock debate on removing troops from Iraq provides a good opportunity for discussion, but the timetable for decision-making should remain the same-that Congress must review options in Iraq when U.S. military leaders issue a report this September on the recent surge in Iraq. "The debate on our Iraq policy and how best to ensure the U.S. is successful in fighting the Global War on Terror is one that Congress should continue to have," said Crapo. "In light of the recent terrorist events in the United Kingdom and the findings of today's National Intelligence Estimate, it is even more critical that we continue to engage al-Qaeda and other terrorist forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world, and do everything we can to keep them away from U.S. shores. While there is much disagreement about the proper way to make that effort, we all agree that a stable Iraq is vital to our national security. "Our brave men and women in uniform are serving our nation, and they deserve our fullest support," Crapo continued. "The President's plan has shown mixed results since the full complement of forces arrived in Iraq in June, but it is very important to allow the surge time to demonstrate results. Congress agreed to wait until September to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent troop surge. Although we do not know whether the Iraqis can fulfill their commitments, it is critical to our national security that we do not undermine our forces by hamstringing them or trying to micromanage the conflict. We must trust our commanders on the ground in Iraq to do their job, and trust their evaluation and assessment of progress and setbacks." Crapo's comments about Iraq and the Senate's activities can be accessed on his website at http://crapo.senate.gov and his teleconference with reporters today is available at http://crapo.senate.gov/media/audio/2007/craponewsconf07_17_07.mp3 # # #