On July 17, 2014 Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona sent me the following email regarding the situation regional instability in the Middle East:
“Dear Mr. Tilford:
Thank you for contacting me about the ongoing crisis in Iraq.
In the time since U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, sectarian tensions and regional instability have fomented the rise of extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is a Sunni-led organization that engages in especially brutal tactics. In the time since Iraq’s relatively peaceful election concluded in April 2014, an ISIL-led insurrection has grown and taken control of several cities that had previously been under the control of the government’s Iraq Security Forces (ISF), whose capabilities have proven insufficient to halt the unraveling of security and stability within the country.
Assisted by large numbers of fighters spilling into Iraq from war-torn Syria, ISIL’s growing momentum poses significant challenges to the United States and its allies. In response to these concerns, President Obama announced on June 19, 2014 that the U.S. would send approximately 300 advisers to Iraq in order to train and assist the ISF. Shortly afterward, on June 30, 2014, President Obama revealed his intention to send another 300 troops to assess and advise Iraqi forces. The President and his administration continue to deliberate other possible U.S. actions that could help the Iraqis.
While I do not believe that the United States should maintain a permanent military presence in Iraq, I believe that providing for the defense of the United States is the most important function of the federal government. To that end, I support measures that will make the United States more secure against terrorist threats and I look forward to the time when complete responsibility for Iraq’s security can be turned over to Iraq’s sovereign government and security forces. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind as I continue to monitor this situation closely in the days and weeks ahead.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website at flake.senate.gov.
Subscribe to my e-newsletter.
You are receiving this e-mail because you contacted Senator Flake through his website. Please do not reply to this message. If you would like to contact Senator Flake again or respond to this email, please visit the “Contact Jeff” page at flake.senate.gov.