Ploughshares Fund Welcomes Announcement of Full U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

October 21, 2011

In response to President Obama’s announcement today of the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, released the following statement:

"A war that never should have been started is finally coming to an end. This is what the Iraqi people want. This is what the American people want. The Iraqi government did not ask us to stay past the end of this year because it believes it is ready to take on the burden of meeting its own security needs. We agree. The American people feel, as President Obama said, the nation that we should now be building is our own.

We applaud President Obama’s effort to reset America’s national security priorities. This decision marks yet another steady step in that direction. We are witnessing the enactment of a strategic vision guided by universal compliance with democratic norms and the rule of law; policies driven by the convergence of shared interests and responsibilities; and a statecraft that does not shirk from the application of military force when necessary but promotes America's interests and security, with respect for other nations and the strength of joint enterprise.

The end to this unnecessary war presents the opportunity to reexamine our nation’s national security priorities. No longer should we be spending vast sums on unnecessary wars or unnecessary weapons. We must ensure that taxpayer dollars go to support strategies and weapons that meet the real challenges facing our nation.”