Herseth's constituent response on her vote on the resolution to shut down troop reinforcements

-----Original Message-----
From: Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth [mailto:sd00ima@mail.house.gov]
Sent:
To:
Subject: Reply from Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth

February 21, 2007

Dear xxxx:

Thank you for contacting me with regard to the recent House Resolution supporting the United States Armed Forces and disapproving of President Bush's decision to deploy more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. I appreciate hearing from you about this very important issue.

As you know, on February 16th, a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives approved a resolution containing the following two clauses:

1. Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably
in Iraq; and

2. Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

I supported this narrowly crafted resolution, which rightfully acknowledges the nearly four years of service and sacrifice made by our troops in Iraq. The resolution also acknowledges our
collective national duty to support the men and women who are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Congress and the Administration owe it to them and the American people to have a
thoughtful, respectful, and honest debate about the future of our involvement in Iraq and how to best achieve stability in the region.

After carefully reviewing the President's proposal to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, hearing testimony from senior members of the military, and speaking with many South Dakotans who have served or who have loved ones who are serving in the war on terror, I remain unconvinced that sending additional troops to Iraq is the best way forward. As I mentioned when the President first proposed this escalation, I have serious concerns regarding the ability of Iraqi security forces to act as a reliable partner in the effort to secure Baghdad, concerns echoed in the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Moreover, as recent
oversight hearings have revealed, such a large escalation of both combat and support troops undoubtedly will have an impact on our overall military readiness.

The Iraqi government needs to understand they are on borrowed time, and they must take greater control over the future of their own country through political reconciliation to quell the sectarian violence. I remain unconvinced that this large new deployment of troops to Baghdad will further that goal at this point, particularly because the plan does not differ substantially enough from previous efforts to secure the Iraqi capital. The President's plan further narrows rather than expands our strategic options.

This is an issue that demands a bipartisan approach, and it is most unfortunate that the Administration has made a decision that rejects the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. This resolution represents the public's and Congress' assessment that increasing our military's combat role, especially in the midst of an intensifying sectarian struggle, is not the answer.

I believe we can and must have an honest and vigorous debate about our future in Iraq that is free of partisanship and political games. I agree with the recent comments of Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, who in testimony to a House committee on February 7, 2007 said that our troops are "sophisticated enough to understand that that's what the debate's really about. It's about the
path forward in Iraq... And I think they understand that that debate's being carried on by patriotic people who care about them, and who care about their mission."

Thank you again for taking the time to share your views. If I can provide any additional information, please don't hesitate to let me know.


Sincerely,

Stephanie Herseth

Comments

Anonymous said…
I can't believe she didn't include any of the plans for her upcoming nuptials to the old guy from Texas.
Anonymous said…
I'm surprised she limited herself to using the word "bipartisan" only 3 times. I bet the Herseth folks are wishing there were a couple synonyms they could throw in now and again.
Anonymous said…
I like her votes, her true LIBERAL colors are starting to show and it isn't blue dog democrat.

Nancy and Stephanie will be goose stepping together!

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