ROMNEY RECORD: A Stronger Supporter Of The Mission In Iraq

"All Americans want U.S. troops to come home as soon as possible. But walking away now or dividing Iraq up into parts and walking away later would present grave risks to the United States and the world. Iran could seize the Shiite south, al Qaeda could dominate the Sunni west, and Kurdish nationalism could destabilize the border with Turkey. A regional conflict could ensue, perhaps even requiring the return of U.S. troops under far worse circumstances." – GovernorRomney (Governor Mitt Romney, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges," Foreign Affairs , July/August 2007)

Governor Romney Has Always Been A Strong Supporter Of The Surge:

On The Same Day The President Announced The Surge Strategy, Governor Romney Stated That He Supported Additional Troops. "I agree with the President: Our strategy in Iraq must change. Our military mission, for the first time, must include securing the civilian population fromviolence and terror. It is impossible to defeat the insurgency without first providing security for the Iraqi people. Civilian security is the precondition for any political and economic reconstruction. In consultation with Generals, military experts and troops who have served on the ground in Iraq, I believe securing Iraqi civilians requires additional troops." (Romney ForPresident, "Governor Mitt Romney On Iraq," Press Release, 1/10/07)

· Governor Romney: "My view is that the troop surge is the right course for us now. I know we've made a lot of errors as a nation in managing the conflict over the last three or four years. But I think the troop surge is the right course." (HowieCarr Show, 8/2/07)

· Governor Romney: "A number of mistakes have been made and those mistakes have contributed to some of the challenges we now face. … I'm glad we're seeing a change in strategy. I'm glad we're adding to the mission of our military the protection of the safety of citizens in and around Baghdad." (Adam Nagourney, "Romney: Clinton'sWrong About Bush," The New York Times ,1/29/07)

Governor Romney Believes America Must Remain Committed To The Mission In Iraq:

Governor Romney Believes That "Walking Away" From The Conflict In Iraq Would "Present Grave Risks" To The U.S. "All Americans want U.S. troops to come home as soon as possible. But walking away now or dividing Iraq up into parts and walking away later would present grave risks to the United States and the world. Iran could seize the Shiite south, al Qaeda could dominate the Sunni west, and Kurdish nationalism could destabilize the border with Turkey.A regional conflict could ensue, perhaps even requiring the return of U.S.troops under far worse circumstances." (Governor MittRomney, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges," Foreign Affairs , July/August 2007)

· Governor Romney: "Well, a President Romney isnot going to set a specific timeline that would suggest that we don't care whether al Qaeda is playing a major role in that country or not. It is critically important to America and the world that al Qaeda not have a safe haven in the nation of Iraq. And, so, to set an artificial deadline which ignores whether or not al Qaeda is being successful is, in my view, a position which would – which should disqualify someone as a potential president -- president of the country." (Fox News' "You World,"9/12/07)

· Governor Romney: "We obviously want our troops home as soon as we can have them home, but we don't want to have them home and lay behind us a safe haven that could become a huge threat to the entire world, and us in particular." ("The Hugh Hewitt Show,"9/14/07)

Governor Romney Traveled To Iraq In 2006 To Meet With The Troops:

In May 2006, GovernorRomney Traveled To Iraq. "Traveling under tight security, Governor Mitt Romney yesterday wrapped up an unannounced, one-day trip to Iraq to visit troops from Massachusetts, and warned against a'cut and run' pullout from the war-torn country." (FrankPhillps, "Romney Makes Surprise Stop In Baghdad," The BostonGlobe , 5/25/06)

· Governor Romney: "It Would Be A Severed Mistake For Us To Cut And Run." "'It would be a severe mistake for us to cut and run,' the governor said yesterday in a telephone interview from Kuwait City just hours after he arrived from Baghdad. The potential sectarian strife that could ensue if the United States pulled out suddenly, he said, 'could lead to a humanitarian disaster.'" (FrankPhillps, "Romney Makes Surprise Stop In Baghdad," The BostonGlobe , 5/25/06)

Governor Romney Believes There Needed To Be Changes In Iraq Strategy:

Governor Romney: "We've removed Saddam Hussein but, afterward, I'm afraid to report that we were underprepared and underplanned and undermanaged and undermanned." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks At The Conservative Political Action Conference, Washington, D.C., 3/2/07)

In September 2006, Governor Romney Said "My Inclination Would Be More Boots On The Ground." "During his speech, Romney rejected suggestions that the United States should pull troops out of Iraq, even suggesting that more troops may be needed. 'My inclination would be more boots on the ground, not less,' said Romney. 'If we were to withdraw precipitously, we would have avery significant threat of a full-scale civil war with massive casualties.'"

In February 2006: Governor Romney Said He Doesn't Believe There Were Enough Troops On The Ground. GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "I think also that we haven't had sufficient troops following the period of major conflict, and so those are not new or novelobservations. I think the president would agree there's a benefit that comeswith hindsight. And yet I supported the president at the time that he enteredinto Iraqand believed that he had the kind of information he needed to have to make thatdecision."

In October 2004, GovernorRomney Said "Looking Back Over The Last Several Months, I Wish We Had DoneSome Things Differently." (John J. Monahan, "IraqWar Deepens Political Differences," SundayTelegram , 10/10/04)

Governor Romney Supported The Persian GulfWar:

In 1994, Then-Republican SenatorialCandidate Mitt Romney Stated His Support For "America's Participation In GulfWar." (Romney For U.S. Senate, Campaign Flier, 1994)