Friday, April 11, 2008

More from Boyda on the Petraeus-Crocker Testimoney

As reported by the Manhattan Mercury:

After hearing Gen. David Petraeus urge a continued commitment to Iraq Wednesday, Second District Rep. Nancy Boyda said she remains concerned about the impact that commitment is having on the military.

''In view of today's testimony, I remain deeply concerned about the impact of the Iraq war on our military readiness,'' she said. "Our troops are clearly strained by repeated 15-month deployments, and the Army is burning through supplies and equipment at an alarming rate.''

Boyda cited comments by Gen. George Casey, chief of staff of the Army, and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the effect that the military commitment is close to a ''red line'' beyond which it cannot be sustained. Citing comments by CIA chief Mike Hayden that the next 9-11 style attack would come from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, she worried about whether the U.S. can combat the growth of Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Boyda noted that Hayden had described the situation along that border as presenting clear and present danger to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, and to the west in general and to the United States in particular.

''Gen. Petraeus' recommendations carry great weight,'' she said, adding, however, that ''as we move forward in Iraq, we must not lose sight of our highest goal, to protect America.''

President Bush adopted one of Boyda's recommendations today, saying he will instruct the Pentagon to impose 12-month rather than 15-month combat tours in Iraq. However Bush, echoing Petraeus, said he would not order additional troop drawdowns beyond July.

Petraeus told Congress that it's too early to talk about future drawdowns because the situation in Iraq remains fragile, and that while security has improved and Iraqi forces are shouldering more of the fight against extremists, Iraq still could descend again into chaos.

The article, of course, overstates the facts when they say President Bush adopted on of Boyda's recommendations: when he said he would impose a 12-month instead of 15-month combat tours in Iraq. Certainly that has been something Congresswoman Boyda has pushed, but she wasn't alone in that call- Democrats & Republicans alike have asked the President to let our men and women be home with their families as soon as possible.

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