Pelosi: U.S. Troops Deserve Proper Equipment and Training Before Going to Iraq

February 27, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi today reacted to media reports indicating that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, has reported to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the readiness of our armed forces declined last year.  According to the reports, Gates has concluded that the decline poses a significant risk to the ability of our forces to respond to threats to our national security:

'This unacceptable state of readiness affected our military long before President Bush ordered an escalation of the Iraq war in January, but the escalation is making it worse.

'The harmful effects on the readiness crisis of the President's escalation plan are just beginning to be seen.  Two Army brigades scheduled to go to Iraq in the spring will do so without completing their normal training cycles and without all of the equipment required to do their jobs.  We should not be sending troops to Baghdad unless they are fully trained and fully equipped.  We already owe a great deal to our troops, and we do them a disservice by putting them in dangerous situations without being fully prepared.'