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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters Welcomes Bush Administration Plan to Bring Home U.S. Troops and End War in Iraq

July 30, 2009
Press Release

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), Co-Founder and Chair of the 72 Member "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus, upon hearing the Bush Administration's announcement to start decreasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, today declared victory in accomplishing one of the Caucus' primary objectives.  Late last week, Army General George W. Casey reportedly presented a plan to U.S. military leaders and President Bush that is virtually identical to the one adopted by the "Out of Iraq" Caucus—H.J. Res 73, the Murtha "Over the Horizon" resolution.

"For more than a year, the ‘Out of Iraq' Caucus has been actively pushing for the Bush Administration to figure out an end game, get the job done, and bring the troops home," said Rep. Waters.  "This is not a time for crowing or 'I told you so.'  Now, that the White House has embraced the Murtha resolution, which was the proposal pushed by our caucus, the primary focus must remain on making sure our troops have everything they need to complete their mission and to bringing them home safely."

In November 2005, U.S. Rep. John Murtha (PA-12) introduced H.J. Res 73, a resolution establishing the "Over the Horizon" strategy, which would immediately prevent anymore U.S. troops from being sent to Iraq.  Next, the resolution calls for the redeployment of US troops in Iraq "as soon as practicable", a decision to be made by military leaders on the ground in Iraq.  It then calls for a contingent of Marines to remain in the region—"Over the Horizon"—to protect our allies and quickly combat any potential threats to U.S. national security.  Finally, the resolution reinforces the widely held belief that the war in Iraq will not be won through military might alone and shifts the full weight of the United States behind diplomatic efforts.

Rep. Waters added, "House Republicans are in a difficult position.  Two weeks ago they brought a phony debate to the floor and accused Democrats of wanting to ‘cut-and-run.'  Over and over they said the Republican plan was to ‘stay the course.'  They said just what Karl Rove told them to say.  Now, they find out that President Bush is prepared to adopt the Murtha plan.  It looks like the President pulled a cut-and-run on Congressional Republicans."

ABOUT THE "OUT OF IRAQ" CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS
The "Out of Iraq" Caucus was established on June 16, 2005 to bring to the House of Representatives an on-going debate about the war in Iraq and the Administration's justification for the decision to go to war, to urge the return of US service members to their families as soon as possible, and to provide a voice in Congress for the individuals and groups who support these efforts.

To accomplish its goals, the "Out of Iraq" Caucus will work with other Congressional Caucuses and national organizations to hold hearings, press conferences and town hall meetings to educate the American people and pressure the Administration to conclude the war in Iraq. 

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Murtha "Over the Horizon" Plan

H.J.Res. 73 (Introduced 11.05)

Plan Reportedly Submitted to the Bush

Administration White House

NO MORE US TROOPS TO IRAQ

MURTHA SECTION 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated;

·          MS. WATERS:  [T]here will be no more U.S. troops sent to Iraq and that the troops in Iraq will be redeployed as soon as possible … Congressional Record, 6.14.06

 

NO ADDITIONAL TROOPS IN IRAQ

GEN. CASEY:  Well, we -- as the secretary just said, we've gone from when the baseline was 138(,000); we're down to about 126(,000) right now.  That's -- 12,000 that's -- whether that's a very substantial amount -- enough, I'll leave to your judgment.  But as I said, I think there will be continued gradual reductions here as the Iraqis take on a larger and larger role.  https://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060622-13318.html

US MILITARY LEADERS DETERMINE WHEN TROOPS ARE REDEPLOYED

MURTHA SECTION 1. and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

·          MS. WATERS: a judgment that should be made by military officials on the ground. Congressional Record, 6.14.06

WHEN ASKED ABOUT SETTING A

TIMETABLE FOR WITHDRAWAL

GEN. CASEY:  I don't like it.  I feel it would limit my flexibility.  I think it would give the enemy a fixed timetable, and I think it would send a terrible signal to a new government of national unity in Iraq that's trying to stand up and get its legs underneath it.  https://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060622-13318.html

QUICK STRIKE FORCE IN REGION

MURTHA SECTION 2.A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.

·          MS. WATERS:  [A] group of marines will remain in the Middle East to respond to threats that destabilize our allies in the region or the national security of the United States. Congressional Record, 6.14.06

 

QUICK RESPONSE FORCES

SEC. RUMSFELD:  But rather than tying it to a specific force or a specific location -- Kuwait, Germany or the U.S. -- we do like the idea that General Casey feels comfortable having some forces on a relatively short tether at some location where they could moved in in a timely manner to provide the kind of assistance that he feels the circumstances on the ground might call for.

https://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060622-13318.html

"The remaining combat forces would be composed largely of attack helicopters, armored units acting as quick response forces to back up Iraqi security forces, and forward controllers to call in Air Force strikes, a military official said." LA Times, 6.25.06

DIPLOMATIC RESOLUTION

MURTHA SECTION 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

·          MS. WATERS:  This war cannot be won through military means alone. We must put the full weight of the United States behind diplomacy in order to end bloodshed in Iraq. Congressional Record, 6.14.06

 

USE DIPLOMACY TO OBTAIN SECURITY

SEC. RUMSFELD:  Where we were; that we have asked General Casey and the ambassador to work with the new Iraqi government, which is now in place for the first time, and with the new ministers and the prime minister, to develop a way ahead that they're comfortable with and that we're comfortable, as the Iraqi forces continue to take over bases and provinces and areas of responsibility and move into the lead. https://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060622-13318.html

The plan would allow Casey "to engage with the new Maliki government, so it can go from a notional concept to a practical plan of security implementation over the next two years," the White House official said. LA TIMES 6.25.06