The amendment calls for 2006 to be â€˜a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty,’ for Iraqi Security Forces to take the lead in the counterinsurgency fight, and for the President to submit quarterly reports on â€˜United States policy and military operations in Iraq.’ This report is to contain specific information regarding the military and political conditions that must be met to defeat the insurgency and complete the mission in Iraq. While stopping short of asking for a firm date for withdrawing U.S. forces, the amendment does mention a â€˜schedule for meeting such conditions [to enable a withdrawal].’
The bipartisan support for the amendment may be partially explained by differing interpretations of the message: Republican Senators John Warner and Bill Frist described it as message of support for Iraqis to take over security in their country, while Democrat Harry Reid called it â€˜a vote of no confidence on the Bush administration policy in Iraq.’
But since the military is already in the process of drawing down and handing over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces, is this Senate proclamation as significant as some are making it sound? Is it really a call for accountability and a solid strategy from the administration, or are lawmakers pushing for an untimely withdrawal based on flagging public support for the war?
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