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Some Democrats could support Bush troop increase, NYT to report

RAW STORY
Published: Wednesday January 3, 2007
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Some key Senate Democrats say they could support a short-term increase in American troop levels in Iraq, a stance that reflects division with the party and could provide an opening for President Bush as he prepares to announce his plan for Iraq as early as next week, the NEW YORK TIMES reports in Thursday's papers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), incoming Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) have all expressed varying degrees of support for increased troops, which they believe will help to stabilize the country and bring the overall contingent of US troops home faster.

"Bush is expected to outline a strategy that would include an increase in troops but would link that escalation to a plan for economic development in Iraq.

Excerpts from article:

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Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who will lead the Armed Services Committee, said he would not "prejudge" the president's proposal. While he would oppose an open-ended commitment, Levin said, he would not rule out supporting a plan to dispatch more troops if the proposal was tied to a broader strategy to begin reducing U.S. involvement and sending troops home.

"The American people are skeptical about getting in deeper," he said in an interview. "But if it's truly conditional upon the Iraqis' actually meeting milestones and if it's part of an overall program of troop reduction that would begin in the next four to six months, it's something that would be worth considering."

But Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is opposed to increasing troop strength regardless of the plan, calling the idea the "absolute wrong strategy."

In interviews on Wednesday, several Democratic senators echoed Biden's view, saying they believed that sending more troops would not resolve the predicament in Iraq.

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FULL TIMES ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK