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The Responsible Path Forward

Testimony to House Armed Services Committee outlines current mistakes and key lessons pointing to a viable way forward in Iraq.

Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Lawrence J. Korb will testify tomorrow before the House Armed Services Committee on the president’s strategy for Iraq.

Korb’s testimony will discuss the lack of viable options in Iraq and the many mistakes over the last 46 months that have created the current quagmire. Korb will outline nine key lessons that point to the conclusion that it is time to strategically redeploy our military forces and begin a diplomatic surge. These lessons are:

1. The United States cannot solve Iraq’s problems militarily; resolving Iraq’s civil war requires a new political strategy.

2. Open-ended U.S. combat deployment fosters a culture of dependency when Iraqis should be taking on more responsibility.

3. The absence of a new diplomatic and political strategy is the missing link to Iraq’s neighbors playing a more constructive and necessary role.

4. The consequences of continued chaos in the Middle East must be illustrated in a forceful diplomatic offensive.

5. Military escalation will not tackle the core problems with Iraq’s security forces and would likely exacerbate the situation.

6. An escalation in Iraq prevents soldiers from being redeployed to places where a military surge is desperately needed.

7. Those who support military escalation lack credibility due to the fact that they are the ones responsible for this misadventure.

8. Congress must not let the president continue to ignore the American people and must exercise its constitutional powers to halt the escalation.

9. The United States must change course now rather than heed the dictates of a president who has continued to mislead us about this war.

Read the full testimony (PDF)

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