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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Many GOP Senators Also Not Enthusiastic About Surge

Some Republican senators are joining Democrats in criticizing the plan President Bush announced last week to surge the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by more than 20,000.

Sectarian violence has increasingly plagued Iraq since the U.S. invasion four years ago. More than 3,000 Americans have lost their lives in the conflict. President Bush's approval ratings have fallen dramatically, due in large part to his handling of the Iraq war.

The U.S. Senate last week questioned senior administration officials about the plan to send the additional troops to Iraq to try to control the situation.
Sen. Sam Brownback, Republican from Kansas and a potential 2008 GOP presidential candidate, said in comments from Baghdad said escalation is not the answer to the conflict.

"I do not believe that sending more troops to Iraq is the answer. Iraq requires a political rather than a military solution," Brownback said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Sen. Jim Bunning, Republican from Kentucky, is also skeptical of sending more U.S. troops.

"You bet I'mskeptical ... I would rather see us maintain our current level and get themout of harm's way and put Iraqi security forces in harm's way," Bunning told the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.

GOP Sen. Norm Coleman says he opposes President Bush's escalation plan.

"And to put the lives of Americans soldiers -- more, in the center of that, without first having something that's substantial, something we can point to, other than this sense of trust, other than looking someone in the eye, having a conversation. I'm not prepared, at this time, to support that. It's -- the cost is too great," the lawmaker from Minnesota said in a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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