It is clear from the testimony today from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker that progress is being made in Iraq. Much work is left to be done; however, it is clear that a premature withdrawal of our troops will have devastating effects on Iraq and its people. In addition to the humanitarian disaster that would ensue, al-Qaeda and Iran would be emboldened, leading to severe security impacts on the region. Additionally, as Ambassador Crocker noted in response to my question, it is ‘critical’ to consider the consequences of any ‘alternate course of action.’ We can choose to stay committed to success, withdraw at the appropriate time and leave the Iraqis celebrating freedom; or we can leave prematurely and allow the forces of evil and terror to carry out their mission in and from Iraq. Based on what I heard today, it is clear that we need to ensure it is not the latter.