by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Aug 2, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the leading opponent to the war in Iraq in the House of Representatives, today made the following statement after President Obama confirmed that America’s combat mission in Iraq will end on August 31, 2010. The plan, however, leaves 50,000 troops in Iraq in ‘non-combat’ roles until 2011:
“The wars since 2001 have cost more than $1 trillion, thousands of American servicemen and women have been killed or wounded, and more than a million innocent Iraqis have lost their lives. Even as our emphasis has shifted to the war in Afghanistan, civilian casualties are still higher in Iraq.
“The majority of American people do not want this war and they are looking to their leaders to end this disastrous misadventure. We cannot end the war and leave 50,000 U.S. soldiers behind. We cannot be in and out and the same time; we cannot put this war behind us until we end it; we cannot end it until all the troops are home.”
Although the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which was negotiated by the Bush Administration and governs the U.S. presence in Iraq states that all U.S. forces must leave Iraq by the end of 2011, the Agreement could be renegotiated. Private security forces, operating under the Department of State, could replace American service members.
The SOFA originally called for the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops by June of last year. The Administration pushed back the deadline for withdrawal due to increasing violence in Iraq. Even as American combat troops are withdrawn over the next month, the Iraqi government faces increasing sectarian violence and civilian casualties, as a coalition government is yet to be formed.
Further complicating the U.S. status in Iraq is a recent report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction which states that the Department of Defense cannot properly account for $8.9 billion in Iraqi oil funds meant for reconstruction efforts.
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