A Third Way: Alternatives for Iraq’s Future
- "A Third Way: Alternatives for Iraq’s Future"
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 – 3:00 pm – 2118 Rayburn – Open
The House Armed Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee met to receive testimony on A Third Way: Alternatives for Iraq’s Future (Part 2 of 3).
Daniel L. Byman
Director, Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
"Chairman Snyder, Ranking Member Akin, distinguished members of the Subcommittee, and Committee staff, I am grateful for this opportunity to speak before you today.
Despite the massive U.S. investment in lives and dollars, the situation in Iraq is steadily deteriorating with no end in sight. I believe that the United States will not be able to bring peace and stability to Iraq in the next several years. Even in the long-term, ending the Iraqi civil war would require a far larger military and civilian commitment than we currently have—and even then the prospects for success are uncertain. Moreover, domestic political support for the Iraq mission is diminishing, making it difficult for the United States to bear the heavy burden of the war for years to come. Because I am skeptical of our chances for success and because I recognize the heavy human, financial, and diplomatic costs of remaining in Iraq, I reluctantly advocate substantially reducing our troop presence and abandoning our current policy that prioritizes defeating the insurgents and building the Iraqi state for a policy that actively aims to mitigate the consequences of U.S. drawdown. I do not take this stance lightly because I believe that a U.S. drawdown will have severe costs for the Iraqi people and could worsen several U.S. strategic interests in Iraq and in the region."