Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today marking four years since the start of the war in Iraq:

            “I warned the Administration about the potential for chaos in the aftermath of our initial military victory in Iraq, and sadly my prediction has come to pass. 

Mistakes happen in war, but our current situation is tragic because many of the United States’ strategic miscalculations in Iraq might have been avoided.  The ancient wisdom of Sun Tzu taught that ‘the general who wins a battle makes many calculations before the battle is fought.  The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand.’  Another prominent theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, noted that in strategy there is an ‘imperative … not to take the first step without considering the last.’  And in our own time, General Colin Powell developed a military doctrine that emphasized the importance of having an exit strategy.  

This is basic military strategic thinking that was absent at the highest level, and this has been unfair to our military because we now find them stretched to the breaking point.  This week’s House debate on the supplemental appropriations bill offers an opportunity to change the current course in Iraq by demanding accountability and beginning a phased redeployment of U.S. troops, which is a step that serves the interests of both the United States and Iraq.”