Democrat: Iraq Makes Us More Vulnerable

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Capitol Hill (AP) A top House Democrat says the war in Iraq is preventing the U.S. from preparing for the next war.

Congressman Ike Skelton made the comments at the start of a second day of testimony by General David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador there.

The Missouri lawmaker also said Bush administration policy has left the U.S. with insufficient resources to protect itself from attack.

Skelton and other democrats on the house armed services committee are expected to focus today's hearing on the health of U.S. forces. They say U.S. troops are stretched too thin by the war.

Republicans, meanwhile, say they're considerably more optimistic about the situation in Iraq than they were last year. The panel's top Republican, Duncan Hunter, says, “no one can deny that the security situation in Iraq has improved.”