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Rep. Clarke Votes To Change Direction In Iraq

Iraq. The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act, H.R. 2956, was passed by a vote of 223-201 and requires American forces to begin redeploying within 120 days and to complete the transition to a limited presence in Iraq by April 1, 2008.


The vote to change direction in Iraq came on the same day as the release of the White House Interim Report on Iraq, which indicates that the Iraqi government has failed to meet key benchmarks endorsed by the President in January and that political reconciliation in Iraq is non-existent.


“Today, the Bush Administration released a report stating that the Iraqi government has failed to meet benchmarks for success. Still, the President wants us to be patient as he pursues his plan for more troops, more time and more of the same in Iraq,” said Clarke. “The American people have waited long enough and their patience has run out. After years of chaos and bloodshed, it is time for a new direction in Iraq.”


In addition to requiring the redeployment of American forces The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act requires the development of a comprehensive strategy for U.S. policy in Iraq and limits missions any remaining forces in Iraq may undertake to duties such as counter-terrorism, and protecting American personnel at the embassy in Iraq.


“It is time for the Iraqi people to take control of their government. American troops should not be refereeing the Iraqi civil war,” added Clarke. “This legislation requires Iraqis to fight for Iraq and allows us to refocus our efforts on the real war on terror.”


In its fifth year, the war in Iraq has cost American taxpayers $450 billion and new reports indicate that America spends $10 billion per month on the war in Iraq. To date, more than 3,600 Americans have lost their lives in Iraq and more than 26,000 have been wounded.