Washington D.C.— Today, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held its latest hearing on the development of alternative strategies for the war in Iraq.  Witnesses were the Honorable Francis J. “Bing” West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense; retired Major General Paul Eaton, former Commander of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team – Iraq; retired Colonel Paul Hughes of the U.S. Institute of Peace;  and Dr. Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Chairman Vic Snyder (D-AR) and Ranking Member Todd Akin (R-MO) released the following statement:

    “Today we held our third hearing to discuss alternative strategies for Iraq.  We are pleased that we were able to bring in a group of experts with such a diversity of experience, all of whom have spent significant time on the ground in Iraq.

    “One common theme from this hearing was the importance of determining the root causes of violence in Iraq.  Each witness provided reasons the various warring factions in Iraq have had such a difficult time reconciling their perspectives and explained how this will impact our strategic options. 

    “Witnesses also emphasized that recognizing the challenges and opportunities presented by regional actors is vital to understanding the implications of any proposed solution to the situation in Iraq.”       

    “Our hearings continue to make a valuable contribution to consideration of broader Iraq policy by providing alternative ideas from which the full committee and the entire Congress can draw.”

Next week, on Tuesday, July 31st, the O&I Subcommittee will hold its final hearing in the series.  Witnesses will include: former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, retired General Jack Keane; former J-3 (Operations) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold; retired General Barry McCaffrey; retired Colonel Larry Wilkerson; and Michael O’Hanlon and Daniel Benjamin from The Brookings Institute.