Just hours after President Bush reiterated that he would "strongly reject" any attempt to impose a schedule for withdrawal from Iraq, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said in a speech that within days Congress will pass legislation doing just that.
According to Reid, the proposed bill "immediately transitions the U.S. mission away from policing a civil war— to training and equipping Iraqi security forces, protecting U.S. forces and conducting targeted counter-terror operations."
The second phase calls for phased redeployment of troops to begin no later than October 1, 2007 with a goal to complete withdrawal within six months--except for a limited number that would stay behind to continue training, counterterrorism ops, and to protect US facilities and personnel.
In Reid's view, the deadline puts the Iraqi government under intense pressure to perform, would allow troops to be re-directed to Afghanistan, could relieve some of the current strain on the military, and would reduce "the specter of the U.S. occupation which gives fuel to the insurgency."
See here for the full transcript of Reid's speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.