Tim Kaine statement on Iraq
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern, South and Central Asian Affairs, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s comments on Iraq earlier today:
The President spoke today about the seriousness of the situation in Iraq. I agree that the unraveling crisis requires leadership and inclusiveness by the Iraqi government. It also demands leadership from the Administration and Congress, and Congress has a responsibility to review any proposal for military action made by the President.
The rapid decline in the security situation in Iraq is regrettable, but not surprising. The United States was willing to maintain a robust military presence to train, advise and assist the Iraqi military after 2011, but the country’s leadership rejected the possibility of continued support. And, the Maliki government has ignored the advice of the United States and other allies and pursued a narrow and exclusive governing philosophy. Maliki’s short-sighted power politics has alienated the Iraqi citizenry and helped ISIS take advantage of peaceful Sunni discontent.
Humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts are desirable and in our best tradition. I hope the President will soon present Congress with a plan to ease suffering in this region. I continue to believe that a more robust American effort to work with international partners to accelerate humanitarian aid into Syria is the single most important step we can take to reduce the daily grind of violence in the region.”