It's pretty tepid, but at least it's a start. After coming back from Iraq, Sen. Warner calls for Bush to start bringing troops home starting on Se
August 22, 2007

 It's pretty tepid, but at least it's a start. After coming back from Iraq, Sen. Warner calls for Bush to start bringing troops home starting on Sept. 15th---to put some teeth into Bush's policy and send the Iraqis a message. 

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I think no clearer form of that than if the president were to announce on the 15th that, in consultation with our senior military commanders, he’s decided to initiate the first step in a withdrawal of our forces.

I say to the president, respectfully, pick what ever number you wish. You do not want to lose the momentum, but certainly in 160,000- plus, say, 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year.

When push comes to shove, Warner will side with the White House if they pressure him as Republicans in Congress often do after registering their dissaproval of BushCo. And the Iraqis would have made their move politically already if they felt so inclined to do so. Think Progress has more....

WARNER: It seems to me the time has come to put some meaningful teeth into those comments, to back them up with some clear, decisive action to show that we mean business when those statements and others like it have been made.

And so, therefore, I make a recommendation to the president. I respectfully say to them in his consultation with the military here in the coming weeks — actually, that consultation is going along quite steadily. Excuse me, I’ve got a bit of a cold.

That consultation is ongoing. Take into consideration the need to send a sharp and clear message throughout the region, to the United States, and one that people can understand.

I think no clearer form of that than if the president were to announce on the 15th that, in consultation with our senior military commanders, he’s decided to initiate the first step in a withdrawl of our forces.

I say to the president, respectfully, pick what ever number you wish. You do not want to lose the momentum, but certainly in 160,000- plus, say, 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year.

That’s the first step.

Let the president establish the timetable of withdrawal, not the Congress. Under the Constitution, as commander in chief, he has that authority.

He need not lay out a totality of a timetable. I would advise against it. Take each step at a time, then make an evaluation of the impact of that step, that it did not lessen the momentum, did not lessen the ability of our forces to continue to supply a greater degree — provide a greater degree of security, be it Baghdad or where else we can do it, and to determine what is the reaction of the neighboring countries and the region. Perhaps they’ve all been sitting there, waiting to see what we would do.

And given the NIE, which says, Mr. President, it’s up to 12 months before we can expect any particular degree of reconciliation, we simply cannot, as a nation, stand and put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action which will get everybody’s attention.

That simple announcement of a single redeployment of some several thousand individuals under the military tradition — first-come, first-served in Iraq, first to depart — you’ve got to be careful how those selections — they can pick them from various units; put together a group and send them back. Then evaluate, re-evaluate how successful it has been. Then perhaps, at the president’s discretion, select a second date and time for a contingent to be redeployed.

Now, in my humble judgment, that will get everybody’s attention — the attention which is not being given to us at this time.

I got on the airplane, and I picked up the Jordan Times. This is the type of thing that’s written in periodicals, and each and every one of you has read it. And they say in the Jordan Times, The Iraqis hold the key to any U.S. withdrawals.

That’s got to be dispelled. Our president holds the key to any U.S. withdrawal. And I think a step as I’ve outlined will make that eminently clear.

And from that point, we’ll just have to evaluate each and every decision the president makes with regard to further withdrawals. (h/t Faiz for the transcript)

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