Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on the President Obama’s remarks on Iraq:
“We welcome President Obama’s articulation of the U.S. national security interests that are at stake in Iraq, especially the threat posed by ISIS. The President’s willingness to send U.S. military advisers to Iraq is a positive step, but more needs to be done.
“We are deeply concerned that the President continues to make political change in Iraq the prerequisite for greater U.S. military and other actions that could begin reversing the momentum of ISIS and improving the security situation in the country. It would obviously be ideal for Iraqi leaders to set aside their differences and embrace national reconciliation now, prior to a greater U.S. commitment to the security of the country. However, a key lesson of recent history in Iraq is that it is extremely difficult for Iraqis to make political progress when the security situation is deteriorating rapidly, as it is currently.
“ISIS is on the march. Radical Shia militias are gathering strength. Iraq’s Security Forces are struggling and, in places, failing. The country is descending into sectarian conflict. And Iraq’s dependence on Iran is deepening. We must act now to help Iraqis arrest their country’s descent into chaos, or the current crisis may soon spiral further out of control.”