Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Hagel Introduces Comprehensive Amendment on U.S. Iraq War Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) introduced an amendment today to the FY2008 Department of Defense Authorization bill that would implement a comprehensive change in U.S. Iraq War policy. Hagel’s amendment establishes a goal for the phased redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq and encompasses the diplomatic, political, economic and military components necessary in order to protect and advance America’s interests in the Middle East.
“This amendment recognizes the broader military, regional, economic and diplomatic context in which the debate over our nation’s war policy must take place. This debate is about more than simply when we withdraw U.S. troops. It is about how we give our troops a policy that is worthy of their sacrifice, while protecting U.S. interests in the Middle East. This amendment offers a responsible way forward in Iraq,” Hagel said.
The Hagel amendment:
• directs the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) to propose the appointment of an international mediator in Iraq, under the auspices of the UN Security Council;
• states the U.S. should engage the nations of the Middle East to develop a sustainable and constructive comprehensive regional security framework and a renewed U.S. commitment to address the Arab-Israeli conflict;
• transitions the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq to focus on protecting Americans in Iraq, protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq, training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces, and engaging in targeted actions against members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Iraq; and• establishes a goal of redeploying all U.S. combat forces from Iraq who are not essential to meeting the new limited mission by March 31, 2008.
This week, the Senate will consider an amendment offered by military veterans Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) that puts on paper one of the greatest things we can do to support the troops and the military -- guaranteeing them proper time on the homefront, to improve our readiness.
Call your Senator at 202-224-3121 and tell them to support the Webb-Hagel Readiness Amendment.
Their amendment simply says that active duty troops should have as much time home as they had on deployment, and that National Guard and Reserve troops should have three years at home after their one-year deployment. Besides being a just and fair thing to do for those who are making tremendous sacrifices for all of us, it is just good military policy.
The war in Iraq is breaking our fine Army and Marine Corps. You've heard the stories about deployments being extended again and again, and troops coming home only to turn around and head right back. It has led to our troops being depleted and exhausted. Not only that, but it has seriously damaged our ability to defend this nation. Many units are simply not combat ready, and God forbid an attack by a rogue nation necessitates opening up a new war front, our forces would be unable to respond. Further, extended and frequent deployments of our National Guard has left us much more vulnerable at home.
As Major General Batiste, a former commanding general in Iraq said, "In addition to our country's lack of strategic focus and failure to mobilize the country, our military is at a breaking point. The Webb-Hagel Amendment is a step in the right direction to force our leadership to come to grips with the gross mismatch between capability and requirements."
Tomorrow, we're going to be on Capitol Hill, to speak out in strong support of this bill. But we need you to back up our efforts.
Call your Senator's office at 202-224-3121 and tell them to support the Webb-Hagel Readiness Amendment.