WASHINGTON, D.C. January 3, 2020 – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement in response to the recent United States kinetic action in Iraq.

“I have grave concerns about the chain of events leading to the direct action that resulted in the death of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. I remain troubled about the impact this action will have on the safety and security of United States’ personnel and assets in the region. Rather than calming the strained tensions in the region, this action will only accelerate the cycle of violent escalation.

“I do not want an open war with Iran, and neither do the American people. However, the absence of a coherent strategy has strained an already tense relationship between Washington and Tehran. It appears that in lieu of a strategy, the Trump Administration has chosen military escalation.

“The Administration must clearly articulate how this action, and potential future actions, will protect U.S. global interests while ensuring the safety and security of our personnel in the region and worldwide. The American people deserve to know why President Trump has brought us to the brink of another war and under what authorization.”