Sunday, November 12, 2006

Iraq solutions from Democrats: Conditioned withdrawal, redeployment, Dayton-like conference

"Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, who is in line to become chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Congress must be the agent “to make it clear to the Iraqis that we cannot save them from themselves.”
“They need to make the political compromises that only they can make,” Mr. Levin added. “We’ve got to let the Iraqis know there is no open-ended commitment.”
Mr. Levin has for several months advocated linking the presence of American troops to political progress in Iraq, a stance that Pentagon officials had dismissed as reckless but that is now gaining wider, even bipartisan, support.
. . . In calling for a timeline for American troop reductions, some Democrats have advocated a parallel increase in the number of American military trainers to improve the quality of Iraqi security forces. Some have called for maintaining substantial numbers of American ground forces in nearby Kuwait — or perhaps at major bases in parts of Iraq, such as northern Kurdistan, with lower levels of violence. Under this plan, the American troops would generally be pulled out of harm’s way in Iraq, but could act as a “quick-reaction force” to reinforce Iraqi security personnel if overwhelmed by insurgent attacks.
Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Democrat who is to be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he would press for an international conference on Iraq, inspired by the Dayton sessions that brokered an end to the bloodshed in Bosnia by summoning Serbs, Croats and Bosnians to an American military base in Ohio for talks."

The New York Times. Democrats, Engaging Bush, Vow Early Action on Iraq. November 11, 2006.

posted: sunday, november 12, 2006, 4:01 PM ET
update: sunday, november 12, 2006, 4:30 PM ET

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