Wednesday, June 27, 2007

2nd Republican warning on war

2nd Republican warning on war
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press
Published June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Sen. George Voinovich said Tuesday that the United States should begin pulling troops out of Iraq, joining Sen. Richard Lugar as the second Republican lawmaker in two days to suggest President Bush's war strategy is failing.

"We must not abandon our mission, but we must begin a transition where the Iraqi government and its neighbors play a larger role in stabilizing Iraq," Voinovich (R-Ohio) wrote in a letter to Bush.

Voinovich, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released his letter Tuesday, a day after Lugar of Indiana, the panel's top Republican, said in a floor speech that Bush's strategy is not working.

"The longer we delay the planning for a redeployment, the less likely it is to be successful," said Lugar, who is to meet this week with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Gordon Smith of Oregon made similar remarks earlier this year. But Lugar and Voinovich's public break is significant because it raises the possibility that Senate Democrats could muster the 60 votes needed to pass legislation calling for Bush to bring troops home.

Their remarks also are a warning shot to the president that GOP support for the war is thinning. Not until September is the administration expected to say whether a troop buildup in Iraq is working.


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