U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today stated his opposition to a troop surge in Iraq.  Smith met with President Bush and senior administration officials yesterday to learn more about the President’s proposal. 

“After the meeting I considered the President’s argument and reviewed the available information, including the Iraq Study Group Report.  In the end, even though I gave the President’s argument due consideration, I don’t find it persuasive.  A troop surge is not the answer in Iraq,” Smith said.

President Bush told Smith and several of his Democratic colleagues yesterday that he planned to send roughly 20,000 troops to Iraq to support what he described as an “Iraq-led” operation to secure Baghdad.

“I'm concerned that the President continues to view this as a military problem, not a political problem.  We need to see from the Administration a real commitment to a broader diplomatic and political effort if we are to have any sense of minimal stability in Iraq,” Smith said. 

“And,” Smith added, “we also have to keep in mind that the global war on terror is exactly that: global.  How does our commitment in Iraq affect our ability to prosecute the wider war?”

Smith also expressed his concern that legislative measures to cut off funds for troops could put troops in Iraq more at risk:  “I don’t want to put the troops in a political fight between Congress and the President, and Congress should carefully consider the consequences of any attempts to block funds for a surge.  We cannot put our forces in Iraq at greater risk.  But a troop surge is not the answer in Iraq.”