WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Two Senate Democrats said Monday they will offer
legislation to begin the deliberate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by
the end of 2006.
Senators Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., say their amendment to
the FY-2007 defense authorization bill differs from other proposals because it
provides a start date for withdrawal rather than an end date by which it would
"Three-and-a-half years into the conflict, we should tell the Iraqis that the
American security blanket is not permanent. Beginning a phased redeployment this
year will add incentives for the Iraqis to make the hard compromises necessary
to bring their country together and secure it. They need to do that job
themselves and our amendment is one way to prod them to make that commitment and
stick to it," Levin said in a press release issued Monday.
Levin has been arguing for at least a year that the open-ended commitment to
Iraq gives politicians there a disincentive to compromise. As long as U.S.
troops are in the country to manage the violence, they can jockey for position,
influence and political power with minimal risk.
"This amendment sends the Iraqi government a clear message: you need to get
to work and achieve a meaningful political solution," Reed said Monday.
The Levin-Reed amendment calls on the Iraqi government to share power and
economic resources among all Iraqi groups and to disarm the militias. It also
calls for an international political conference on Iraq, the payment of pledged
donations, and a commitmant to continued non-military support for reconstruction and governance.