Menendez On Bush Iraq Announcements: 'This All Adds Up To More Stay-The-Course"

Menendez On Bush Iraq Announcements: 'This All Adds Up To More Stay-The-Course"

Bush today said he is maintaining troop levels in Iraq and reducing tours but is not giving more rest at home

Washington - Today, President Bush made two announcements regarding the War in Iraq - that he is maintaining the number of troops in Iraq and that he is reducing tours in Iraq to 12 months, though he continues to do nothing to guarantee troops adequate time back home between tours.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:

"This all adds up to more stay-the-course without a light at the end of the tunnel. Calling it a 'time to consolidate and assess' is just a gentle way of saying there will be just as many Americans acting as Iraq's national police force at the end of this year as there were at the end of last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. Nothing is really changing.

"The same goes for our troop deployment schedules. A reduction in tour times for our overstretched troops is certainly welcome and long overdue, but we also need to guarantee them time back at home equal to the length of their deployments. Senate Democrats have fought for that, but the president and his loyalists resist it. How is that supporting the troops? What's the point of cutting their tours if they come home for two weeks and then are sent right back to Iraq?

"This president clearly will not come to the realization that beginning a responsible transition of our troops out of Iraq will stop the loss of American lives, begin to heal our national budget and reinforce our overstretched military while giving the Iraqis their best chance for lasting peace. Not until the Iraqis actually believe we won't be there forever will they do what it takes to find agreement and take charge of their future."