Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Committee, thank you for the honor and the opportunity to discuss the situation in Iraq. The battle to retake the country from ISIS is one of the most dynamic foreign policy challenges confronting the new administration. Iraqi and coalition forces have already liberated most of their country and are now engaged in a fierce fight to recapture the western half of Mosul.
But major questions remain regarding what comes next. Indeed, we stand at an inflection point in our policy on Iraq. Much of the military task will soon be accomplished. The next phase will be more complicated – to help Iraqis recover, reconcile and seek solutions to what at its root has always been a political problem. As we enter this phase, I want to touch on four urgent priorities and two enduring challenges the US will now face in Iraq.The above excerpt was originally published in Senate Foreign Relations Committee.