Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement after a Department of Defense briefing on issues related to the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq:
“The House Armed Services Committee held a classified briefing today with officials from the Department of Defense for an update on U.S.- Iraq policy and on plans for the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq.
“The redeployment of forces and equipment is an enormous undertaking which will affect Iraq and the countries in the region, and which will also affect the ability of the U.S. to conduct war in Afghanistan and be ready to respond to other threats. The House Armed Services Committee has many policy and logistical concerns about this complex effort, and we are determined to provide the oversight required to ensure we make decisions that will keep our forces safe during this transition.
“We also must ensure that we recover as much U.S. equipment and materiel as is practicable, since these items may be needed for the mission in Afghanistan, to maintain military readiness, and to respond to natural disasters in the United States. Our nation has not carried out a redeployment on this scale since the Vietnam War, and when I visited Vietnam years later I remember seeing rows and rows of U.S. equipment that we left behind. We must do a better job managing the redeployment from Iraq.”