VoteVets statement on announcement of more troops to Iraq

Washington, DC -- Following the White House announcement that an additional 1500 US troops will be sent to Iraq, the nation's largest progressive group of veterans, VoteVets.org, representing over 400,000 supporters, released the following statement:
 

Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran, Chairman of VoteVets.org:

“We strongly oppose committing more US troops to the Sunni-Shia conflict in Syria and Iraq.  First and foremost, any time you put boots on the ground, they are combat troops.  It doesn’t matter what label the President wants to use – advisors, trainers, or otherwise – they are combat troops, vulnerable to attack at any time, and one unfortunate incident away from not coming home.  The last time we had “no combat troops” in Iraq, I was there, training the Iraqi military, and we sustained hundreds of casualties.

“Further, the President is making the same mistake as George W. Bush – adding troops to solve a problem that we want solved more than the people there.  Until the Iraq government truly opens itself up to all the people of Iraq, including Sunni, and mends its divisions, extremists will continue to rise up and slaughter civilians on the other side.  We need to negotiate from a position of strength, to force Iraq’s government’s hand.  They want our help.  We need to say they won’t get it, until they make fundamental changes, to bring about real inclusion.  That would be the smart move.  Throwing more troops at Iraq is as dumb under this administration as it was during the previous one.”

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 400,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.  VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives.   VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

 

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