WASHINGTON, DC – Today Representative Ike Skelton (MO), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement commenting on the recent National Intelligence Estimate that suggests there are an increasing number of Islamic extremists as a result of the war in Iraq.

            “Recent reports concerning an April National Intelligence Estimate suggest that because of the war in Iraq, we face a growing wave of Islamic extremism in many parts of the world. The continuing violence in Iraq underscores the fact that this administration has failed to not only bring about stability for the Iraqi people, but in the process has risked further international instability. Many of us predicted before the Iraq war that, if handled incorrectly, the conflict there would breed additional Islamic extremists.

“To be successful in the war on terror, we must win the hearts and minds of those in the Muslim world.  We must ensure that we are taking more terrorists off the battlefield than we are creating.  Reports of this Estimate indicate our current policies are moving in the wrong direction.

“Congress needs to investigate this issue carefully through hearings and a careful look at the intelligence.  We must be able to assure the American people that our efforts in both wars—the war in Iraq and the war on terror—are serving the overall effort of decreasing the terrorist threat against the United States.”