Monday, June 19, 2006

Democrats Push Resolution For Phased Withdrawal From Iraq

After last week's Republican stage-managed "debate" on the Iraq war, Senate Democrats are introducing a resolution calling for a timetable on withdrawing American troops from that beleaguered nation.

Congressional Democrats, seizing on public discontent over the war in Iraq, will offer legislation this week calling for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq and a shifting of forces to other nations, where supporters say American soldiers will be less likely to come under attack.

The resolution, crafted by Democratic Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan, will headline a second week of debate in Congress over the state of the war. It is the first real debate Congress has held on the war since the US invasion in early 2003.

Senate Democrats, many of whom voted to authorize force in Iraq but have become critics of the war, will unveil a resolution today demanding that President Bush begin phasing out US troop presence in Iraq this year.

The resolution, expected to come to the floor as early as tomorrow, also would call on Bush to provide a plan to redeploy remaining troops after 2006, but it does not specify where troops should be moved and how many might come home.

Under the proposal, a small contingent of American troops would be kept in Iraq to train local forces so they can take control of their own country.

"An open-ended time commitment is no longer sustainable," Senator Dianne Feinstein , Democrat of California, said on CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday.

The nation needs "a timetable, some goals, some discussion with the Congress by the administration," she said. "The president might not have wanted to have done that early on, but three years and three months and a bogging down, I think, suggests that the time has come for some discussion as to where we go from here."

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