August 31, 2010

Chairman Kerry On The End Of The U.S. Combat Mission In Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Following President Obama’s Oval Office address on the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement:

“The war over the war is over, and regardless of what anyone felt about the invasion and the conduct of the war over the past seven and a half years, the question is what comes next and what happens now. While America’s war may be ending, the struggle for Iraq’s future is not. That outcome will be decided by the Iraqi people themselves, but they will not be alone. America needs to strengthen and expand the bilateral relationship beyond mutual security interests to trade, culture, science and technology, health and education.

“Iraq’s leaders have a rare opportunity to turn the page on their country’s recent history to establish the foundations of a more stable political order. But to capitalize on this opportunity, they need to rise to the occasion. Nearly half a year after parliamentary elections, Iraq urgently needs a new government. The bickering and logrolling must end. Iraqi leaders must be willing to make tough political compromises and put national priorities over personal ambition. Americans today are united by our commitment to help Iraqis chart a better future and our pride as we welcome our heroes home.

“Our civilian mission in Iraq can play a vital role in stabilizing the country going forward. We should continue congressional funding for a robust diplomatic mission beyond 2011 when the last American troops are scheduled to exit Iraq.”

###

Press Contact

CONTACT: SFRC Press Office, 202-224-3468