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Saturday, Nov. 29, 2003 at 9:53 PM
I guess George W. Bush ain't bloodthirsty enough for the Democrats.
More US troops needed in Iraq, say Democrats
24.11.2003 1.28 pm
WASHINGTON - More United States troops are needed in
Iraq now to put down an escalating insurgency, the top
Democrat on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee
said on Sunday.
And the Democratic leader of the US Senate, Tom
Daschle, said additional American troops "ought to be
an option on the table."
"... If we don't see an improvement, that has to be an
option," Daschle said on NBC's Meet the Press.
Senator Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, said if
more counterinsurgency and special operations forces
were deployed, US troops would be able to withdraw
from the embattled country more quickly.
"There's a direct relationship, us going in now and
doing more so that we can get out earlier," he said on
Fox News Sunday.
"I understand it's incredibly difficult for the
president to go to the American people and say we're
going to put more troops in near term," Biden said.
"...(But) there is not enough force or the right type
of force there at this moment to quell the
Daschle and Biden spoke of the deteriorating security
situation in Iraq as at least three more American
soldiers were killed on Sunday, including two who
witnesses said were stabbed and had their throats slit
when their car was stopped in traffic.
"I think (Bush) needs to recognise that we've got to
make security number one. We lost 70 troops, now, this
month alone," Daschle said. "The president's way
behind the curve."
Since US President George W Bush declared an end to
major hostilities on May 1, 185 US troops have been
killed in action.
Around 130,000 US troops are deployed in Iraq, the
vast majority of an international coalition of nearly
150,000. US military planners have said they don't
need more American soldiers in Iraq to combat a group
of attackers numbered at around 5000.
Biden said he was unsure how many more troops would be
required, but that military planners had indicated "a
different mix of troops" was needed, "more
counter-insurgency folks and more special forces in
He also said it was unlikely enough Iraqis could be
trained in time to take over security by next spring
when the US is set to hand back control of the country
"It's a bit Pollyannish to think we're going to have a
couple hundred thousand Iraqis trained up... to
essentially take the place of a significant portion of
US or international forces," Biden said.
On CNN's Late Edition, Senator Joseph Lieberman, a
Connecticut Democrat and presidential candidate,
blamed the Bush administration's "lack of preparedness
and strength" for "the chaos that's there now."
"The slashing of throats of Americans by the enemy
shows how inhumane, how brutal, how dangerous the
enemy is that we're facing," Lieberman said later. "We
cannot let the insurgent enemy in Iraq win."
...It should redouble our commitment to do whatever's
necessary to defeat the enemy we are facing in Iraq."
On CBS' Face the Nation, retired Army General Wesley
Clark, another Democratic presidential candidate, took
issue with administration policy of not allowing news
coverage of coffins returning from Iraq.
"This government doesn't want to recognise their
sacrifices that way because it's afraid it will,
quote, 'undercut public resolve,"' Clark said. "...The
real problem this administration has is it doesn't
have a strategy for success in Iraq."
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