“Our troops deserve a strategy in Iraq that is worthy of their sacrifice. That is why, for three years, Democrats have pushed the White House to lay out a plan for success.
“Unfortunately, the President has rejected our call, and instead, insisted America needs to “stay the course.” With more than 2,050 Americans killed… more than $250 billion spent… and no end in sight after three years of war -- “staying the course” is no longer an option.
“Together, we can do better. Democrats have developed a very clear path forward. There are three areas we believe need to be addressed:
First, 2006 should be a significant year of transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqis taking more and more responsibility for their own security. It’s time to take the training wheels off the Iraqi government. Iraqis must begin to run their own country. In 2006, the US and our allies must do everything we can to make that possible.
Second, the Administration must advise the Iraqi people that U.S. military forces will not stay indefinitely in Iraq, and that it is their responsibility to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political environment essential for defeating the insurgency.
Third, the President needs to submit – on a quarterly basis - a plan for success to Congress and the American people. This plan must specify the challenges and progress being made in Iraq, timetables for achieving our goals and estimated dates for redeployment from Iraq as these goals are met.
“Apparently, Republicans have agreed this is the approach we need to take, as they have essentially accepted our amendment.
“It cannot be understated that by accepting our amendment, both the Republican leader and the chairman of the Armed Services committee agree that the administration needs to come forward and explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for success and completing the mission.
“It’s not easy for the President to admit mistakes. It’s a lot easier for him to lash out at those who question his policies, but political attacks are not going to get the job done. Our troops have done their job. It’s time for the President and this Republican-controlled Congress to do theirs.”
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