On Iraq & Accountability

Posted on by Jesse Lee

Last night, on the 4th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, Speaker Pelosi spoke on the House floor about the Democrats’ plan for Iraq:

The U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act.

Read the transcript >>

Here is what other military experts have said in endorsing the Democrats’ plan:

Former Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee Bob Graham:

“The benchmarks in the bill to be considered by the House, and the deadlines for meeting them, will clarify the U.S. role in Iraq and generate performance by the Iraqis that in all likelihood would otherwise be postponed. In doing so, the bill provides what is currently missing, a plan to redeploy our troops from a situation that cannot be improved by their continued presence.”

Former National Security Advisor Brzezinski:

“The Iraq plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee last week provides what has been lacking: a means to hold the Iraqi government accountable for its performance by conditioning U.S. support to the meeting of benchmarks already endorsed by President Bush and Iraqi leaders. After four years of war, it is clear that a different approach is needed if the Iraqis are to be encouraged to make the political accommodations necessary to promote stability and national reconciliation.”

Retired General and Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley K. Clark:

“House Democrats have offered a responsible approach that protects our Armed Forces, the troops and their families, and encourages both the Iraqis and the Bush Administration to work more effectively to salvage some success in ending what has been a tragically mistaken and failing mission. This conflict must be resolved politically – military efforts alone are insufficient — and this legislation strongly promotes that political solution. This legislation is the product of the kind of responsible legislative leadership that the American people voted for in 2006, and I wholeheartedly support this bill.”

Six senior retired military officers writing to Speaker Pelosi and Congress:

Dear Members of the 110th Congress,

We are writing to urge you to take immediate action to protect our troops.

We are concerned that the plan to deploy additional troops to Iraq, coupled with the serious readiness deficiencies, have left our armed forces in a state of emergency.

The situation in Iraq, grave and deteriorating, is troubling to us both as former military commanders and as American citizens. Top military officials have consistently acknowledged that the repeated and lengthy deployments are straining the Army, Marine Corps and Reserve and National Guard forces, and are taking a heavy toll on critical warfighting equipment.

We urge you to put pressure on the Iraqi government to take control of their own country and relieve the burden from American troops by setting a clear and definite timeline for a phased and deliberate redeployment of American combat forces from Iraq by no later than August 2008. We urge you to ensure that our troops meet the readiness standards required to protect Americans both at home and abroad. We urge you to ensure that those who serve in the name of this country receive the health care and support they need when they return to us.

Thank you for your consideration of our views. We look forward to working with you.


Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr. (USA, Ret.)
Former President of the National Defense University

Brigadier General John Johns (USA, Ret.), PhD
Former Combat Arms Officer; Professor, national security strategy, National Defense University

Colonel Richard L. Klass (USAF, Ret.)

Captain Lawrence Korb (USNR, Ret.)
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics), 1981-1985

Major General Mel Montano (USANG, Ret.)
Former Adjutant General of New Mexico

Lieutenant General William E. Odom (USA, Ret.)
Former Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the Army, and former Military Assistant to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, 1977-1981

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