03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

4 Years Later

The top U.S. military commander and diplomat in Iraq today came under sharp questioning from Democratic and Republican senators demanding a justification for the continued commitment of American lives and resources to Iraq more than four years after the March 2003 U.S. invasion.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker argued that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needs more time to take advantage of improved security that they said has resulted from operations spearheaded by U.S. reinforcements. They testified that positive steps at local levels are providing some cause for hope as power increasingly spreads to regions outside Baghdad.

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