Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the presence of coalition forces in Iraq.
“It would be highly irresponsible to withdraw coalition forces from Iraq at this crucial time in the young democracy’s evolution. The popularly elected government is only four months old. Without the presence of coalition forces, insurgents and terrorist organizations trying to destabilize the Iraqi democracy would win the day. All out civil war is likely without a strong coalition presence, and almost certainly would lead to a wider regional conflict.
“It is imperative the coalition continue to support this young democracy militarily, allowing the Iraqi police and military to stand up and protect their nation. Withdrawal of coalition forces would be a devastating blow to their efforts.
“However, current troop levels seem inadequate to the task of securing parts of Iraq. Instead of withdrawing troops, we should strengthen the coalition presence in unstable areas so a security environment can emerge that will allow for a peaceful, political solution to Iraq’s problems instead of a violent confrontation.”