Republican Support For War Effort Waning As Public Support Shrinks

John F. McManus
JBS
Tuesday July 31, 2007

ARTICLE SYNOPSIS:
Growing numbers of GOP House and Senate members are distancing themselves from the current Bush plan for the Iraq War. While reluctant to force a date for withdrawal of the troops, they are calling for fewer missions and for limiting goals.

Follow this link to the original source: "More Republicans want Bush to limit Iraq missions"

COMMENTARY:
Especially among those facing reelection in 2008, Republicans are reviewing their past support for the Bush war policy. Typical of those moving away from the current conduct of the conflict is Representative Heather Wilson (R-N.M.). Recently reassessing the situation, she stated, "Settling Sunni-Shiite rivalries over who occupies what street in Baghdad is not in the vital interest of the United States."

Approximately 40 GOP House members have added their names to legislation authored by Democrats that calls for implementing the recommendations produced by the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group almost a year ago. That panel urged handing over combat assignments to Iraqi forces and keeping only enough U.S. troops on the scene to train the Iraqis and target known terrorist pockets.

None of GOP lawmakers urging a change in policy have gone so far as to demand an exit date for the troops. For now, they are willing to await the highly anticipated September report expected from General David Petraeus. Most Republicans and most observers, however, believe that the general will ask for more time to gauge whether the surge strategy initiated last January has proved effective. If he does ask for an extension before making any conclusions, anti-war sentiment will surely grow larger.

Prominent GOP senators have already suggested that the President change the mission in Iraq. As the struggle drags on with no end in sight, erosion of support from the president's own party will surely grow.

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