(CNSNews.com) - President Bush’s troop surge in Iraq has not been successful, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), however, said the surge has been “a success,” but he wondered when U.S. troops can return home.
“The purpose of the surge,” which started in January 2007, “was to create a secure period of time so the government of Iraq would have political room to take actions that would bring [political] reconciliation to Iraq,” Pelosi told CNSNews.com at a press conference.
“Since the surge began, 1,100 of our troops have died,” she said. “They told us it would take 60 to 90 days to do it all. It’s a year and a half and it still hasn’t happened.”
The delays in provincial elections, the need for de-Baathification (rooting out senior Baath Party members from Iraqi ministries), and constitutional modifications were among the House speaker’s list of concerns.
“Whether you are talking about provincial elections ... whether you are talking about amending the constitution, whether you are talking about de-Baathification, the rest of it, it still hasn’t happened. And so the purpose of the surge has not been fulfilled,” Pelosi said. Listen to audio
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the endgame in Iraq is not clear to him, regardless of the low casualty numbers: Only four Americans died in combat-related incidents in Iraq in July.
“We know the troop surge is a success,” Schumer told CNSNews.com. “But to what end? When will we know our troops can leave? How much longer will they be needed?”