Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement on the situation in Iraq:
“It is important to remember that the conflict taking place in Iraq and Syria and other countries in the region is not new. It is not the result of a failed policy – it is the result of a longstanding sectarian conflict. A political solution is necessary to bring peace and the Iraq government must engage in a process that includes more than bullets. There is a desperate need for political outreach by the Maliki government to Sunnis. Military action without this outreach is doomed to fail. Iraqi political leaders have to make the hard choices that they have avoided for years. Their future depends on it.
“As we consider our options to respond to the situation in Iraq, I encourage the Administration to maintain a sense of caution and fully consider the effects that a military strike may have. Certainly, should options be present to improve security in Iraq for the people of Iraq and to ensure our national security, the President should fully consider those options. But it is important to remember that military force alone cannot bring peace. For years, we maintained a significant military presence in Iraq and there was widespread unrest and conflict. U.S military action in a Muslim nation is not always a calming force.
“The United States should continue to support the Iraqis with military aid, training, and intelligence support, but that alone cannot remedy the situation. The Iraqis must stand and fight for the security of their country. And the United States should provide support in any way that helps to bring peace.”