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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who in 2002 voted against authorizing the war in Iraq, today responded to General David Patreaus' House testimony that the current troop escalation has been effective and that more time is needed to achieve the President's military and political goals. 

"Like all Americans, I want to see progress in Iraq.  Unfortunately, it is clear that the Iraqi civil war cannot be solved militarily, and the political situation within the country is clearly deteriorating.

"When I announced my intent to vote against the authorization to go to war, I said in my speech that without a clear objective, victory cannot be measured.  Indeed, it appears the Administration established a solution – going to war – before it defined the problem or the goal.

"I still believe our number one goal must be fighting the global war on terrorism and protecting Americans at home and abroad. 

"From everything I've seen and heard – including today's testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker - it is clear that despite the stellar efforts of our troops, this conflict simply cannot be solved militarily.  And having nearly 170,000 American troops stuck in the middle of a civil war in Iraq does not strengthen our ability to fight terrorists around the world.  

"In fact, by forcing our troops to police a civil war, the president's policy is impairing our military readiness and our ability to fight and win the broader war on terror.

"The escalation was supposed to be a temporary tool in this war.  I disagree with the assessment that it is too early to discuss redeployment; we are nearly five years into this conflict.  It is the responsibility of policy makers to continually assess the best way to move ahead for our troops and our security.

"We must begin to redeploy our troops from Iraq and chart a new direction that allows us to rebuild our military and refocus on stopping the spread of terrorism around the world."