STATEMENT

Rep. Mike Capuano Statement on Iraq

June 11, 2015

I am deeply troubled by the Administrationís decision to send an additional 450 U.S. military personnel into Iraq. It will bring the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to approximately 3,500, a clear escalation of our role in the region. Although we are being told our personnel will serve in noncombat roles as trainers and advisors, how long are they expected to serve in this capacity?

President Obama MUST come to Congress for this creeping escalation. The U.S. is slowly but definitively getting further and further drawn into this conflict and the Administration cannot guarantee that additional troops wonít be ordered. The President has a Constitutional obligation to bring this matter before Congress. If this effort expands into combat, it should be based on a Congressional authorization, not an Executive order.

Although I believe the President has an obligation to come before Congress, I do not support this escalation. I have real problems with US troops serving in this capacity without a broad coalition, and that includes troops on the ground from neighboring regional countries.

I am also very concerned by what seems to me to be a half measure of participation. If the U.S. is to deepen its engagement, it should be with an equally strong coalition of partners and a well defined mission. If a military action deserves our support there should be a clear understanding of what winning means and a commitment to achieving it. We have had to learn that lesson too many times, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq I, Iraq II, Somalia and so many other places. The debate about our role in the Middle East and indeed in the world at large is long overdue. The President has the responsibility to present coherent foreign and defense policies to Congress and engage in that debate with us. I am not at all convinced that more involvement in this troubled region is the most prudent path and I am not prepared to support additional military action.

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Contact: Alison Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208