It's been a year since the president chose to escalate our presence in Iraq - keeping our brave men and women in harm's way and continuing to make the world less safe.

The reality is that this so-called ‘surge’ can hardly be called a success. The decrease in violence that has been reported only represents a temporary lull in the conflict.

President Bush claimed the escalation of troops would create space for political progress, which has not happened. Instead, the outcome of the costly surge is a lull that is not sustainable because there has not been appropriate political movement.

To characterize this lull as a victory is a reflection of the breakdown of this Republican administration’s foreign policy. The fact is that after nearly five years we’ve spent about a half-trillion dollars, nearly 4000 courageous U.S. troops have given their lives to an invasion and occupation that shouldn't have been started in the first place.

The only way to stop the violence against U.S. troops and innocent Iraqi civilians, restore our standing in the world, and bring stability and security to Iraq is to end the occupation and bring our troops home. To that end, Congress must step in and fully fund the redeployment of our troops this year.