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John Kerry to Offer Amendment to Redeploy U.S. Combat Troops from Iraq by End of Year

by Pamela Leavey

As I noted here late last night, this week, John Kerry will be introducing an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that will “redeploy U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006.” Kerry believes that “It’s time for Iraqis to stand up for Iraq.”

John Kerry is calling for the withdrawal of United States forces under a schedule agreed upon with the new government of Iraq. This will legitimize the new Iraqi government, enable the Iraqis to become more self-reliant, and undermine support for the insurgency.

In fact, Senior American commanders have said the large U.S. military presence in Iraq feeds the insurgency. General George Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq, testified to Congress that our large military presence “feeds the notion of occupation” and “extends the amount of time that it will take for Iraqi security forces to become self-reliant.”

The goal of John Kerry’s plan is to undermine the insurgency by simultaneously pursing a political settlement and the military draw down of American forces. Kerry’s plan calls for:

** The redeployment of U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006.

** Only U.S. troops essential to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces would remain.

President Bush has repeatedly said that when Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. However, that has not been happening. So far, the Iraqis have trained 265,600 security forces. The Bush administration’s stated goal is 272,566 Iraqi security forces. Yet just two weeks ago, the Pentagon announced that they are sending 3,500 additional U.S. troops from Kuwait to Iraq.

The United States to maintain an over-the-horizon military presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.

The President to convene a summit that includes the leaders of the new Iraqi government, leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq, representatives of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, representatives of the European Union, and leaders of the governments of each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to reach a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq that addresses fundamental issues including federalism, oil revenues, the militias, security guarantees, reconstruction, economic assistance and border security.


John Kerry first called for the redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq by the end of this year on October 26, 2005. In a major address at Georgetown University, Kerry said the next six months were critical to the future of Iraq. At that time, he introduced his Strategy for Success in Iraq Act – a comprehensive new strategy to complete the mission in Iraq and redeploy the vast majority of American combat troops, beginning with the draw down of 20,000 U.S. troops after successful Iraqi elections in December.

Following up on his plan in April 2006, John Kerry laid out two important deadlines for Iraq – if Iraqi leaders couldn’t form a unity government by May 15, American troops would leave immediately rather than be stuck in the crossfire of an escalating civil war; if they did form a government, we would empower the new Iraqi leaders by agreeing on a schedule to withdraw American combat forces by the end of 2006.

On April 5, 2006, Kerry wrote in the New York Times:

Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America’s leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion. We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do. . . So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines — a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections. Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet. . . For three years now, the administration has told us that terrible things will happen if we get tough with the Iraqis. In fact, terrible things are happening now because we haven’t gotten tough enough.”

Urge your Senators to support withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2006.

Kerry to Call for Change of Course in Iraq, as Congress Prepares to Focus on War, Terrorism
John Kerry: Tell Your Senators – Support Senate Joint Resolution 36 to Bring our Combat Troops Home in 2006
John Kerry: The Moment of Truth In Iraq
John Kerry’s Speech at Boston’s Faneuil Hall: “A Right and Responsibility to Speak Out”
John Kerry Speaks on His Iraq Strategy: Two Deadlines and an Exit, Introduces Senate Resolution on Iraq
John Kerry Calls for May 15 Deadline for Iraq to Get it Together or We’ll Withdraw

7 Responses to “John Kerry to Offer Amendment to Redeploy U.S. Combat Troops from Iraq by End of Year”

  1. John Kerry sent an email out today asking us to call our Senators and ask them to support John Kerry’s Amendment for withdrawal of American combat troops by the end of 2006.

    If you are reading this. Please call your Senator and tell everyone you know to do the same .I called both of my useless PA Senators.


  2. I have a good fealing that John Kerry will be our president come 2008 and that America will become the great world leader that it once was once again. We need him more than ever!!!!!!!

    Independence, MO

  3. Sean Walsh

    We do need him more than ever and we all feel the same thing… 2008.

  4. In the year before he succumb to cancer, Col. Hackworth. a gung-ho marine from the Nam era, was barred from the media, because he wanted to bring to our attention his feedback from those serving in Iraq.
    He had asked those serving to send him e-mail’s expressing their views about life on the ground in Iraq. He received numerous horror stories of endangering troops, poor logistical tactics, an environment made more and more insecure and dangerous, fear, enormous stress, and confusion about the reasons for serving. A full two-thirds of the service personel (in a sample of about 2000 e-mails from way back in late 2003 to mid 2004) wanted us out in less than a year.
    This information, like hundred’s of other stories that question the lunacy of this war, was suppressed by the corporate neo-con mass media.

    If you and your friend and realtives want a more reasonable approach to this war-with a comprehensive exit strategy that will get us out safely, with honor, and will not lead to a civil war-go to my blog:sevenpointman

    Don’t just browse there.
    Leave your comment.
    Make copies and circulate my plan which has been approved by many activists and scholars including:
    Bejamin Ferencz-Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, Tom Hayden, Tony Benn, Matthew Rothschild, Reggie Rivers, Bishop Gumbleton, Ken Livingstone-Mayor or London, and Danny Schecter.

    Most people want us out as soon as possible.
    I have the way to do it.

  5. Howard Roberts,

    Sorry, my eyes don’t do well with white on dark writing. I read the plan but did not see where other scholars and supporters could be located.

    There’s a lot to be said for it. One problem is the degree of detail in areas that are really up to Iraq to determine. I see no one on the list of supporters here that appears to represent Iraq in any way.

    I also would not endorse a plan that was not developed in the way Kerry has outlined:

    “to give Iraq its best hope for a peaceful future, the administration must convene a summit that includes the leaders of the country, its neighbors, including Syria and Iran, the representatives of the Arab League, NATO, the United Nations and the European Union and forge a comprehensive political solution that is the only way to resolve the issues of the Middle East.

    Many of your points are appropriate and would probably be included in any plan developed at such a summit. Eg. Negating all of Bremer’s CPA “laws”.

    I think Kerry has made a good case for a withdrawal date.

    This week on the floor in the Senate I will fight for an up-or-down vote on an amendment to set a date for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

    Our soldiers — what is important to understand is that when we talk about that, whether it’s John Murtha or myself, we allow for the over-horizon capacity to deal with Al Qaida, we allow for the over-horizon capacity to be able to respond to Iran or other threats to our country. We’re not stupid.

  6. […] his immediate replacement Sheikh Mansur who was just killed will not be running), I found this tidbit. The post, on the “The Democratic Daily”, discusses John Kerry’s plan to […]

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