House Democrats have now retreated from Jack Murtha’s “slow bleed” strategy (aptly named, as we now know, by John Harris) to bring about failure in Iraq, and are casting about for a new approach. The latest trial balloon, being discussed by the Democrats behind closed doors, is described here by the Associated Press.
It isn’t described very clearly, however:
House Democratic leaders are developing an anti-war proposal that wouldn’t cut off money for U.S. troops in Iraq while requiring President Bush to acknowledge problems with an overburdened military.
The tactic is more likely to embarrass Bush politically than force his hand on the war. He would have to sign repeated waivers for units and report to Congress those units with equipment shortfalls and other problems.
It sounds as though the idea is that there would be no funding cuts, but Congress would require the President to “report” to it on equipment shortfalls–whatever that means–and sign waivers to allow troops to be sent to Iraq even though their “equipment” has ostensibly “fallen short.”
Of course, if the Democrats really think there is a problem with our troops’ equipment, one option would be to vote an increase in the Defense Department’s budget to supply the supposedly missing materiel. Don’t count on that, however; as usual, the Dems’ purpose is entirely political.
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