Monday, 24 June 2024

Thompson introduces plan to end the Iraq War

 

Thompson says his binding legislation would restrict President Bush's escalation of the Iraq War and set firm deadlines for a redeployment of American troops.


Thompson's bill, the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 (HR 787), sets forth a plan for both ending the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq's growing civil war and helping the Iraqi government rebuild and secure their country.


Thompson's bill is companion legislation to a bill introduced earlier this week in the Senate by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).


Last month, following President Bush's State of the Union address, Thompson told Lake County News of his concerns with the president's plans for Iraq, and shared his own thoughts on the subject.


“Success in Iraq for me is for the Iraqi government government to assume their security responsibility and move past their civil war and rebuild their country,” he said. “This is a political issue they have to fix.”


Thompson said sending more troops “into the heart of Iraq's civil war” will only put more American lives at risk, and that his legislation provides a practical plan for ending the war as safely and quickly as possible.


The legislation requires a phased redeployment of U.S. troops to begin no later than May 1, 2007, with all combat brigades out of Iraq by March 31, 2008, which is in accord with recommendations released late last year by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.


The plan also allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in a protection, training and counter-terrorism role. In addition, if the Iraqi government meets certain political, diplomatic and reconstruction benchmarks outlined by the Administration, the plan allows for the temporary suspension (for no more than 90 days) of troops redeployments, however only with congressional approval.


Thompson's bill also blocks the president's plan to escalate the war by requiring congressional approval for additional troops beyond the number in Iraq on Jan. 10.


Escalation has been opposed by both Democrats and Republicans, including Senator John Warner, a World War II and Korean War veteran and former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran.


This isn't the first time Thompson has introduced legislation regarding an end to US involvement in Iraq.


During the last session of Congress Thompson authored a bill calling for redeployment of troops out of Iraq.


Thompson's isn't the only legislation introduced in this session of Congress regarding the war.


Last month, Sen. Edward Kennedy introduced S233, which would prohibit use of funds for a military escalation in Iraq; an identical bill, HR 353, was introduced in the House at the same time.


Two other bills similar to Thompson's are HR663 and HR508, which call for removing US troops from Iraq and restoring Iraq sovereignty.


In addition, Congress will consider HR553, the Iraq Transition Act of 2007, which would establish a national commission to develop plans to transfer power to the Iraqi government and remove US troops; and HR645, which also would provide for withdrawing US military forces.


Late last month, Thompson introduced HR714, the War Funding Acountability Act, which would require oversight and accountability of all military and reconstruction spending in Iraq.

 


Summary of the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 (HR 787)


– Requires congressional approval for sending any additional troops to Iraq beyond the number in Iraq on Jan. 10, 2007.


– Commences redeployment of US troops no later than May 1, 2007 with all combat brigades out by March 31, 2008.


– Allows for a limited number of US troops to remain as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism, and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces.


– If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Administration, the plan allows for the temporary suspension of this redeployment (for no more than 90 days), subject to the agreement of Congress. The President must provide Congress with a full explanation of why he is temporarily suspending redeployment.


– Requires the President to submit quarterly reports to Congress describing and assessing the Iraqi government's progress in meeting benchmarks and the redeployment goals.


– Conditions future economic assistance to Iraq on significant progress toward achievement of benchmarks. Allows exceptions for humanitarian, security, and job-creation assistance.


– Requires Iraq to fulfill its commitment to spend not less than $10 billion for reconstruction, job creation, and economic development without regard for the ethnic or sectarian make-up of Iraqi regions.


– Recommends the President appoint a Special Envoy for Iraq to carry out this diplomacy within 60 days. Mandates that the President submit a plan to prevent the war in Iraq from becoming a wider regional conflict.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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