Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the announcement by President Barack Obama that the last American soldier in Iraq will be home by the end of the year.
“It is terrific to hear that all of our men and women in uniform will come home from Iraq by the end of this year. The Iraq War was waged on the incorrect premise that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction program that posed a direct threat to the United States of America . This was not the case. President Obama was right to lay out the path to end this war during his campaign and I commend his success in fulfilling his promise.
“It is important to remember that, as we are leaving Iraq, Americans are still fighting a ferocious war in Afghanistan.
“In Afghanistan, we have achieved our main objectives. We have destroyed al Qaeda training camps and brought to justice those responsible for 9/11. We have unfortunately adopted an additional nation-building strategy that faces enormous obstacles and consumes an enormous share of our military and economic resources. This mission is unwise and unachievable, and I urge our President to quickly end this conflict as well.
“In both Iraq and Afghanistan, our men and women in uniform are doing absolutely everything we have asked of them. There is no more professional and effective force on the planet. They have stood up for us. And as they come home, we must stand up for them.”