Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in support of the Administration’s decision to provide assistance to the Iraqi people:

“The Iraqi people face a significant threat in ISIS and I support the Administration’s decision to provide assistance to protect innocent civilians. In this case, the U.S. military has the ability and the capability to confront ISIS, protect an innocent population under threat of genocide and provide some relief. I applaud the Administration for taking this opportunity. 

"However, we must continue to remember that the U.S. militarily alone cannot resolve this conflict. For years, we had tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, yet the sectarian conflict continued.  In order for real and lasting peace to take hold, the Iraqi people must create an inclusive and fully representative government. Maliki – or whoever takes his place - must create a government that includes and respects the Sunnis as well as the Kurds.

"It is long past time that the Iraqi government step-up and confront ISIS, both militarily and politically.  It is the lack of a unified and capable government that allowed this terrorist organization to take root and ISIS will not be eliminated unless the Iraq government takes a unified approach to stopping them."