I wish to express my strong opposition to the President's plan to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq. This is not a "new" course, but the same old course, the course that has cost our country the lives of over 3,000 of our best and brightest young men and women. These soldiers have done all we have asked of them and more, often serving more tours of duty than they had anticipated. However, 20,000 extra soldiers cannot solve the current problems in Iraq, and any approach to stabilize the country militarily would need at least 10 times that many troops. Twenty-thousand is merely a token gesture. It is an arbitrary number. The president has repeatedly stated that he will not let politics decide the course of the war, yet this decision looks every bit the political move. If you will remember, last summer our military launched “Operation Together Forward,” which sent 10,000 additional troops to Baghdad to try and get some control over the violence. Yet, the violence worsened, and the last several months have been the bloodiest months for our troops during the course of this war. Twenty-thousand troops is not enough to stabilize Iraq, but enough to get more of our young men and women killed. It seems to me, that because of the complexity of the situation on the ground, including a sectarian civil war, internal corruption in Iraq’s military, and outside influence from other terrorist states, that there cannot be a military solution that can, at present, stabilize Iraq. And most certainly that cannot be solved by only 20,000 troops. I would have you consider what your colleague, Sen. Gordon Smith ( R) from Oregon said at the end of last year: “I am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that any more.”
Like Senator smith, I cannot understand, how it could be considered moral, or patriotic, or even logical to send an arbitrary number of soldiers over to Iraq, to achieve some arbitrary and artificial objectives. How it is moral, and in our best interests to allow more of our soldiers to die in a symbolic gesture. Life and freedom are the two greatest gifts that God has given us, and this plan does nothing to protect the lives of our troops, or enough to secure the freedoms of the Iraqi citizens.