Will the U.S. ever Leave Iraq?
By Jerome Grossman
Since achieving majority control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Democrats in Congress have forced 40 votes on bills limiting President Bush's war policy. Only one bill was passed by both bodies and that was vetoed by Bush.
However, every one of the 40 bills contained a special section providing for a residual U.S. military force to remain in Iraq with no time limit to perform the military tasks U.S. forces are now doing. This week, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced Senate Bill 2633 to redeploy U.S. combat troops from Iraq. It requires that after 120 days, funding in Iraq be limited to the following: conducting targeted military operations against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, providing security for U.S. personnel and infrastructure, training Iraq security forces, providing equipment and training to U.S. troops, and continuing to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq.
The activities listed in Senate Bill 2633 essentially cover the current programs of the U.S. military in Iraq. These programs are now carried out by 162,000 troops. A continuation as specified in the bill would require approximately the same number of troops. Any reductions are likely to be token in size and cosmetic in purpose.
While calling for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq, the Democrats in Congress, including Senators Clinton and Obama, are actually providing for an American residual military force in Iraq that will have responsibilities there for many years to come. Is that what the American people want?