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Senate bipartisan draft resolution on Iraq

Whereas the U.S. strategy and presence on the ground in Iraq can only be sustained with the support of the American people and bipartisan support from Congress;

Whereas maximizing chances of success in Iraq should be our goal and the best chance of success requires a change in current strategy;

Whereas the situation in Iraq is damaging the United States' standing, influence and interests in Iraq, the Middle East, and around the world;

Whereas over 137,000 American military personnel are bravely and honorably serving in Iraq and deserve the support of all Americans; 

Whereas more than 3,000 American service personnel have already lost their lives and more than 22,500 have been wounded in Iraq; 

Whereas, on January 10, 2007, President George W. Bush announced his plan to deepen the U.S. military involvement in Iraq by deploying approximately 21,000 additional U.S. combat forces to Iraq; 

Whereas Iraq is witnessing widening sectarian and intra-sectarian violence;

Whereas Iraqis must reach a political settlement if there is going to be a reconciliation, and the failure of the Iraqis to achieve such a settlement has led to the increase in violence in Iraq;

Whereas Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated on November 27, 2006 that “The crisis is political, and the ones who can stop the cycle of aggravation and bloodletting of innocents are the politicians.”

Whereas an open-ended commitment of United States forces in Iraq is unsustainable and a deterrent to the Iraqis making the political compromises and providing the personnel and resources that are needed for violence to end and for stability and security to be achieved in Iraq;

Whereas the responsibility for Iraq's internal security and halting sectarian violence must rest primarily with the Iraqi Government and Iraqi Security Forces;

Whereas there have been repeated promises by the Iraqi Government to assume a greater share of security responsibilities, disband militias, consider amendments to their Constitution and enact laws to reconcile sectarian differences, and improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people and those promises have not been kept;

Whereas a successful strategy in Iraq is dependent upon the Iraqi leaders fulfilling their promises; 

Whereas U.S. Central Command Commander General John Abizaid testified to Congress on November 15, 2006, “It’s easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us to do this work.  I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

Whereas the Iraq Study Group suggested a comprehensive strategy to "enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly" based on "new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region;"

Whereas the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, including their reserve components, their personnel and their families, are under enormous strain from multiple, extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas the majority of non-deployed Army and Marine Corps units are no longer combat ready due to a lack of equipment and insufficient time to train;

Whereas the U.S. strategy in Iraq must not compromise the ability of the United States to address other vital national security priorities, in particular global terror networks, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional stability in the Middle East, Iran's nuclear program, North Korea's nuclear weapons, and stability and security in Afghanistan; 

Now, therefore be it resolved that it is the Sense of the Senate that:

It is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating U.S. troop presence in Iraq;

The primary objective of the U.S. strategy in Iraq should be to have the Iraqi political leaders make the political compromises necessary to end the violence;

Greater concerted, regional and international support would assist the Iraqis to achieve a political solution and national reconciliation;

The mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should transition to helping ensure the territorial integrity of Iraq, conduct counterterrorism activities, reduce regional interference in Iraq's internal affairs, and accelerate training of Iraqi troops;

The United States should transfer, under an appropriately expedited timeline, responsibility for Iraq's internal security and halting sectarian violence to the Iraqi government and Iraqi Security Forces;

The United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regional, internationally-sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq.