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Democratic Senator Discusses Security in Iraq amid Increasing Violence

As the October death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq reached 96, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said more weaponry would be needed to handle the situation. Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat on the Armed Services Committee who just returned from Iraq, discusses the situation.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, the view of a Senate Democrat. And to Ray Suarez.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    We get that view from Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. He's a member of the Armed Services Committee and returned earlier this month from his ninth trip to Iraq.

    And, Senator, you heard the president say, "We are winning. We have adapted." You heard his national security adviser say that this was a balanced and sober assessment, and the president is open to new ideas. Is this a new posture for the administration?

    SEN. JACK REED (D), Rhode Island: Well, it's a new posture. And, unfortunately, it might just be a posture. The situation as I see it, just returning from Iraq, is that we're not winning; in fact, the initiative, we're losing the initiative. We have to regain that initiative.

    And that's going to require, I think, putting appropriate pressure on the Maliki government to take explicit steps very quickly to eliminate the militias as forces within Iraq, bring in the Sunnis in real reconciliation, not just some sort of committee and press releases, but bring them in, and also begin to deploy their resources to ensure that the quality of life and public services are available to Iraqis who are rapidly losing faith and confidence in their own government.

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