On Tuesday, March 20, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) testified at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ hearing, "
Representative Tom Lantos (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "Rep. Lynch provided thought-provoking testimony on his legislation concerning the most pressing foreign policy issue that America confronts today – the conflict in Iraq. The legislation is thoughtful and serious. I appreciate this opportunity to hear from him, and the Committee will consider the legislation carefully.”
Lynch serves on the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs and has traveled to
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen, and Members of the Committee, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to testify before you this morning.
After five visits to
This week, as Congress debates troop withdrawal based on specific benchmarks for the Iraqi government, I would like to propose a mechanism to more effectively hold the Iraqi government accountable for attaining these benchmarks and create the conditions necessary for an orderly withdrawal. Drawing from the lessons of history, I recommend the establishment of a national bipartisan commission comprised of appointees from the White House, House and Senate, whose specific and targeted purpose would be to help facilitate an orderly, deliberate, and expeditious transition from
After five visits to Iraq and dozens of meetings with General George Casey, General Abizaid, General Petraeus, and top generals and officers in the field, as well as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, I believe that the critical weakness in our current strategy is the persistent reluctance of the Iraqi government to take control of government operations.
For example, when I was in Fallujah last April and local residents experienced problems with water and electricity, it was engineers from the United States Marines that went out to get the water and electricity running again. These are functions that by now should be in the hands of the Iraqi government. They were elected over two years ago, yet they still do not handle the basic day-to-day duties of the government.
Not only does this place further strain on
Instead, the Iraqi government needs to step up and take control. It is only human nature that as long as someone is willing to do everything for you, and pay for it, you will let them. Consequently, the
This is a tested model, based on the