Other GOP Senators Embrace Lugar’s Call for Change of Course in Iraq
Republican senators expressed support today for Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar’s call for an immediate change of course in Iraq.
Lugar, the top Republican and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a floor speech yesterday that a gradual drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq should begin immediately. Lugar said President Bush’s deployment of additional U.S. troops to Iraq was unlikely to produce positive results by September, when a report by Gen.David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is due.
Lugar urged haste, before the political climate heats up heading into the 2008 elections. “The purpose of giving this speech now is that we are in a quiet period when we are not forced to extreme debates and there can be consensus building,” Lugar said today.
The speech displayed publicly sentiments Lugar had expressed to President Bush privately in January, he added.
Lugar doesn’t plan any specific legislation to advance his view, but will continue to advocate his position to other senators and will meet with the administration this week, he said.
“I hail what he did,” said Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., former chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “It shows the strength that each of us individually must bring to this debate.”