In the 230 year history of our country, the United States has fought in conflicts both at home and abroad that have tested the resolve and unity of the American people.  During that time, the purview of the Commander in Chief has justly been scrutinized and questioned.  These debates are a part of our past and will be a part of our future as long as we send our men and women into battlefields to fight for our country.

Today’s debate is no exception.  The question we must answer for ourselves is a fundamental one that speaks not to our approval of the War in Iraq, but rather to our commitment to the men and woman fighting this war.  It is a commitment we must reaffirm without question or doubt.  With commitment and unity.

Now it seems to me that we have two courses of action we can take regarding the War in Iraq.  We can pull our troops out immediately and leave the stability of the region up to an increasingly violent insurgency thereby admitting defeat, or we can send in further reinforcements to work with Iraqi Security Forces to seize control of their country.

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We can all agree that a change in the status quo must be made.  With an increased level of violence between Sunni and Shia insurgent groups, an escalating cost, and the loss of American lives, it is imperative that we have a legitimate and substantive debate on the direction of this war.

However, if we are to succeed in Iraq and complete the mission, then the United States House of Representatives should not waste its time debating a nonbinding resolution criticizing the Commander in Chief.  This resolution offers no real policy alternatives for Iraq and does not bring our men and women home any sooner.  It is a political shot aimed at the President, but it is really our troops who suffer most from these grandstanding tactics.

I recently visited Walter Reed Hospital to hear from the wounded who have been to Iraq and sacrificed so much for their country.  I talked to a wounded soldier who had a bone infection that prohibited him from returning to Iraq.  He was not concerned about his physical well-being but instead he was upset that he could not go to finish the job that he had started.  His feelings reflected the thoughts of many of the soldiers that I had the privilege to sit and talk with that day.

The fact is we face a moment of unparalleled opportunity to, in voice, in one vote, fulfill our promise to our troops – the promise that we will give them the resources, the armor, the manpower and reinforcements they need so that they may safely and effectively win the War on Terror and come back home.