Tuesday, September 11

Loebsack Recommended Reduction "Doesn't Go Far Enough"

"I have argued we need to disengage immediately in Iraq," said Loebsack, who sits on the committee. "Reductions to 130,000 by next summer doesn't go far enough for me, or for the people of the 2nd District, either."

He said he favored beginning to remove U.S. troops over the course of the next few months and a full withdrawal by next year, if possible. Loebsack expressed disappointment that Petraeus never said how long he thought U.S. forces should remain involved in Iraq. He said Congress will require similar reports twice yearly.

Loebsack said he was concerned that conditions may worsen for Iraqi civilians after a U.S. pull-out but noted that it is important to keep in mind the conditions U.S. troops face now. "For me, the fact is we have American troops in the middle of the civil war," said Loebsack. "If our troops were to be called to duty anywhere in the world, (we would not be ready)," Loebsack said. "The bottom line is, our troops are in the middle of a civil war, and they should not be in that position any longer."

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