EVALUATION OF “IRAQ SURGE”

Iraq surge a failure, top

Democrats tell Bush

Jun 13 04:38 PM US/Eastern
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Top US congressional Democrats bluntly told President George W. Bush Wednesday that his Iraq troop “surge” policy was a failure. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the president over Iraq by sending him a letter, ahead of a White House meeting later on Wednesday.”As many had forseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results,” the two leaders wrote.

“The increase in US forces has had little impact in curbing the violence or fostering political reconciliation.

“It has not enhanced Americas national security. The unsettling reality is that instances of violence against Iraqis remain high and attacks on US forces have increased.

“In fact, the last two months of the war were the deadliest to date for US troops.

The letter appeared to preview a fresh showdown over Iraq between anti-war Democrats and the president, just a few weeks after Bush forced his foes to strip troop withdrawal timelines from a 100 billion dollar emergency war budget.

It also came a few days after the US military mourned its 3,500th soldier killed in action in Iraq.

Pelosi and Reid told Bush in the letter that they planned to send him new legislation to “limit the US mission in Iraq, begin the phased redeployment of US forces, and bring the war to a responsible end.”

On Tuesday, Reid said that Senate Democrats would attach troop withdrawal deadlines to a Defense Department Authorization bill, due to be debated within weeks.

The next critical point in the showdown between Bush and Congress over Iraq is expected in September, when US commander in Iraq David Petraeus is due to report on progress in the strategy to “surge” up to 30,000 more US troops into the war-ravaged nation.

Even senior Republicans have said they expected the president will have little choice but to make adjustments in the Iraq strategy, once the report is made public.

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