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Edwards Statement On Extension Of Army Tours Of Duty

April 11, 2007

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement following today's announcement that tours of duty for active-duty Army units will be extended from 12 to 15 months.

"President Bush's announcement that tours of duty will be increased to 15 months borders on the unconscionable. Our military - and particularly our Army - has already been stretched to the breaking point by this President's misguided, disastrous policy in Iraq. Every available Army active-duty combat brigade has already been to Iraq or Afghanistan for at least one 12-month tour. The Army's own management policies aim for at least two years at home between deployments for active-duty personnel, but we are now sending some troops back to Iraq with less than a year's rest and retraining. And now the President has told our soldiers, and their families, that they will stay in Iraq even longer.

"Due to the President's disastrous policy, our recruiting has suffered, our equipment is deteriorating, and businesses employing Guardsmen will be forced to carry additional financial burdens. But no one has suffered under this unsustainable operations tempo more than our military families. We must stand by them, end the conflict in Iraq, and force the Iraqis and their neighbors to find a political solution to the conflict. The plan I announced months ago would cap funding at 100,000 troops to stop the McCain Doctrine of escalation and force an immediate withdrawal of 40-50,000 troops followed by a complete withdrawal in 12-18 months. Under my plan, complete withdrawal is not just a goal: it is a requirement backed by Congress' funding power."

John Edwards, Edwards Statement On Extension Of Army Tours Of Duty Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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