Capps Argues Reports of Progress in Iraq
Says U.S. Presence May Inflame Sectarian Violence
Santa Barbara Congresswoman Lois Capps took exception to the testimony presented by Army General David Petraeus on Capitol Hill regarding the relative success of the recent “surge” in American troop strength in Iraq designed to create the stability necessary for political reform to succeed. Petraeus argued that the surge-the introduction of an additional 26,000 troops earlier this year-has reduced the amount of civilian and sectarian violence in Iraq and should be credited for some Sunnis actually turning against the insurgents in the Anbar province. Capps, however, said that political reform is failing miserably in Iraq, and cited a report to this effect released last week by the Government Accounting Office. Capps has voted in favor of several resolutions calling for phased withdrawal from Iraq. Her spokesperson Emily Kryder acknowledged the potential for violence if American troops were to leave Iraq, but noted that some experts believe the presence of U.S. troops serves to inflame sectarian violence. Kryder also noted that even with the phased reductions outlined by Petraeus, there would still be as many troops in Iraq next summer as there will be this winter.