Washington, DC – Today Subcommittee Chairman Marty Meehan and Ranking Member Todd Akin, of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (O&I) of the House Armed Services Committee, announced that the subcommittee is preparing to undertake its first oversight project—an in depth look at the development of the Iraqi Security Forces.


Chairman Meehan and Ranking Member Akin released the following statement:


“We are very pleased to announce that the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will be evaluating current U.S. plans for and progress to date in training, equipping and sustaining the Iraqi Security Forces.


“Our subcommittee has been reconstituted by the Armed Services Committee, reflecting a renewed commitment to overseeing the critical issues facing our military today.   The development of the Iraqi Security Forces is clearly such an issue, and we intend to find out firsthand the challenges that our troops face and the ways in which Congress can support them in this difficult task.


“It is widely understood that success in Iraq can only be achieved when the Iraqis are able to secure and defend their own nation.  Because of this, it is crucial that our efforts to stand-up a viable Iraqi Security Force are as robust and effective as possible.  


“Our intent is not to focus on past mistakes, but we will not hesitate to call for accountability when it is warranted.   Instead, we seek to ensure that the current policy is realistic and achievable.  If we determine that specific challenges merit Congressional action, we will work with the relevant subcommittees of legislative jurisdiction and the full Armed Services Committee to take action at the appropriate time.  


            “We look forward to undertaking this important oversight function in the spirit of bipartisanship with an eye toward ensuring that our nation’s security policy is as professional and effective as the men and women who carry it out every day.”


The first O&I briefing, which will be closed to the public due to its sensitive nature, will be this Friday on the development of a logistics system capable of sustaining the Iraqi Security Forces with equipment and supplies.   Future briefings will explore issues regarding the training of Iraqi personnel as well as the costs, contracting and interagency capacity-building aspects of U.S. efforts.