U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement following his interaction with General David H. Petraeus and Ambasador Ryan C. Crocker during a joint House Armed Services / Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.  Petraeus and Crocker testified about Iraq and the state of the President’s escalation strategy.

“Today’s testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker did not clarify the Administration’s criteria for beginning to end our occupation.  What was clear, however, was that the only drawdown that we currently have plans for would simply return us to pre-escalation troop levels.  Essentially, by July 2008, we would return to where we were in January 2007.

“Based on the testimony I heard today, it is clear that there is no end in sight to our occupation of Iraq under this Administration’s policies. 

“Our current involvement in Iraq comes at an enormous cost to our country, and the escalation has failed to bring about the stated goal of political reconciliation.  It is time to reallocate our resources to better confront al-Qaeda and the threat presented by their violent, totalitarian ideology across the globe.”