Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Senate Support For Webb's Troop-Protection Bill

Senator Jim Webb's (D-VA) bill to limit how quickly the Bush administration can send troops back into combat after they have returned home from Iraq or Afghanistan has picked up even more support and now has a total of 31 cosponsors going into further debate today.

The following is a wrap-up of some of the broad support the legislation is receiving.

Tom Harkin (D-IA)

“It is simply unacceptable that our troops’ time at home has often been cut short, depriving them of the time they need to recover from combat, complete additional training and spend precious time with their families. This systematic abuse of re-deploying our troops with little down time has placed enormous stress on our troops and their families, and has brought our Army to its breaking point. Having an established amount of time between deployments is crucial to protecting our troops’ mental and physical wellbeing and providing some stability and predictability for military families.”

Chuck Hagel (R-NE)

"The war in Iraq has pushed the U.S. military to the breaking point. I, like most of my colleagues, have been told by military leaders, both on active duty and those who are retired, that we are doing tremendous damage to our Army and to our Marine Corps, as well as our Army National Guard. Our troops are being deployed longer than they should be, more frequently than they should be, and without full training and equipment. We are eroding our military power at a time when our country faces an increasing arc of challenges and threats across the globe. We are abusing our all-voluntary force in a dangerous and irresponsible way.

"Today, in our fifth year in Iraq, in the middle of a civil war, we must return to the standards that allowed us to create the finest military force the world has ever known, the best led, the best educated, the best trained, the best equipped, and the most committed military the world has ever known.

"It took some of this country's greatest military leaders post-World War II -- more importantly, post-Vietnam -- such as General Powell, General Schwarzkopf, and many others, to commit their lives, 35 years of their lives to rebuild a broken military after we broke it in Vietnam. We are headed in the same direction unless we get control of this disaster now. Nothing is more important to our country, to our society than our people."

Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"We continue to ask more and more of our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's time to live up to our commitments and give them a fair and reasonable amount of time at home between deployments to re-establish family ties, and continue their training and advanced military education, so they're well prepared for their next deployment."

Jon Tester (D-MT)

"Multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a huge toll on our troops, both physically and mentally. When our men and women in uniform are called to duty we must make sure they're ready and equipped with the resources they need. Rest is a critically important component of that. Senator Webb offers common sense legislation that will truly support our troops."

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

"Our armed forces are completely overstretched with extended tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been fighting this war for four years, and it's time to give our fighting men and women a reprieve. This amendment will be a huge improvement to military retention for our National Guard and Reserve units by allowing these units the time they need to reunite with their families and adequately prepare for their next mission. We simply will not have the manpower we need to meet our next challenge, whatever it may be, unless our forces and their families receive the support they deserve."

John Kerry (D-MA)

"The men and women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are carrying a heavy burden and they all deserve our support. This amendment is an important step in restoring the social contract between our Armed Forces and the government that this administration has shattered. We keep faith with troops when we remember the sacrifices they are making and we take steps to help them and their families cope with these extended deployments. It's only fair they have an opportunity to rest at home after these long deployments and I look forward to a vote on this amendment."