New Mexico Politics (Heath Haussaman): U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici has decided to support a redeployment of many American troops from Iraq by March 2008
July 4, 2007

bushanddomenici.jpgNew Mexico Politics (Heath Haussaman):

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici has decided to support a redeployment of many American troops from Iraq by March 2008 as part of a new, reduced mission in that war-torn country.

The GOP senator from New Mexico announced today that he has decided to cosponsor legislation that would call for the implementation of many of the Iraq Study Group recommendations. The move represents a major shift for Domenici, who up until now has supported President Bush in backing a controversial troop surge and opposing a timetable for withdrawal.[..]

The move is certain to upset Bush allies, but will also bolster Domenici's re-election bid.

Domenici said he changed his mind over the course of the last two weeks as it became clear that the Iraqi government is not meeting benchmarks that were to accompany the American troop surge. In addition, he spoke recently with the parents of fallen soldiers who urged a policy shift.

UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid ask Domenici to promise to put his vote where his mouth is.  Reid's statement below the fold.

From an email:

Washington, DC -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to Senator Pete Domenici's call for new U.S. military strategy in Iraq:

"Senator Domenici is correct to assess that the Administration's war strategy is misguided. But we will not see a much-needed change of course in Iraq until Republicans like Senators Domenici, Lugar and Voinovich are willing to stand up to President Bush and his stubborn clinging to a failed policy - and more importantly, back up their words with action. Beginning with the Defense Authorization bill next week, Republicans will have the opportunity to not just say the right things on Iraq, but vote the right way too so that we can bring the responsible end to this war that the American people demand and deserve.

"As evidence mounts that the 'surge' is failing to make Iraq more secure, we cannot wait until the Administration's September report before we change course. President Bush and the Iraqis must move now to finally accept a measure of accountability for this war, implement the Iraq Study Group recommendations, transition the mission for our combat troops and start bringing them home from an intractable civil war."

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