WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats, who won control of the U.S. Congress, said on Sunday they will push for a phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq to begin in four to six months, but the White House cautioned against fixing timetables.
"First order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy," said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is expected to be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the new Congress.
Democrats will press President George W. Bush's administration to tell the Iraqi government that U.S. presence was "not open-ended, and that, as a matter of fact, we need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months," Levin said on ABC's "This Week" program.
Bush has insisted that U.S. troops would not leave until Iraqis were able to take over security for their country, and has repeatedly rejected setting a timetable for withdrawal because, he says, that would only embolden the insurgents. (...Continue article... )