Sen. Clinton calls for capping Iraq troop level, increasing Afghanistan's

Just back from a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, Sen. Hillary Clinton has called for legislation capping the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at its present level, while deploying more troops to Afghanistan to fight the resurgent Taliban.

IOW, the exact opposite of everything Bush wants to do.

And she’s got some Senate Republicans on her side.

Another Pub, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (if anyone cares), supports Bush’s “surge” plan but still wants all our troops out of Iraq by the end of this year.

Is high-level political support for this war about to collapse?

What high-level political support (outside Bush’s filtered inner circle) is left?

John McCain supports sending more troop to Iraq.

She’s not calling to bring the troops home, she just opposes this particular tactic of Bush’s. I wouldn’t call that a collapse of support on her part, although it’s falling quickly elsewhere. If anything, this will give more Congresscritters cover to not vote in favor of a rapid troop withdrawl.

She’s still trying to distance herself from Obama and the rest of the crew.

The entire Connecticut for Lieberman party, for your information. :smiley:

Not a joking matter. The stupidity of Connecticut’s voters is giving this President vital cover to continue to spend the lives of US citizens, not to mention Iraqi bystanders, at will.

Well, it was either him, a man globally known with the name recognition of being Gore’s Veep in the '04 election, or Ned Lamont.

But I agree with Clinton here. Bush is out of his freaking head, as usual- but it’s going to cost more U.S. and Iraqi lives. Let’s hope Congress votes to put an end to the funding of the war on the Iraqi front.

'04 election
I mean '00 election. My bad.

Assuming that Gates speaks for Bush, and he’s saying he’s considering sending more troops to Afghanistan, I don’t see how that part is “the opposite of everything Bush wants to do.”

In what way? Hegel is dead set against it, and I think Snowe, Collins and a bunch of others have said they’re opposed. That more than cancels out Lieberman.

Lieberman gives him (the President)

a) legitimacy he otherwise wouldn’t have, and

b) a vital vote for things like supporting filibusters, like the one Mitch Mcconnell might stage against a resolution - non-binding, admittedly - against the surge that Biden and others are putting together.

It only takes 41 votes to continue a filibuster. Given there are 49 Reps, this means they only need the support of 40, plus Lieberman, to prevent such a resolution from passing.
Of course, most vitally, it gives him an extra, and what may prove at some point, crucial, vote in support of a veto of a bill to cut off funds for his surge, or for whatever adventure he might decide to embark on against Iran or Syria. Lieberman’s hawkishness means, once again, he will only need 32 Reps to support such a veto, because he knows he’s got Joe.

A bipartisan group of senators (not including HRC) is now calling for a nonbinding resolution against the “surge.”

Given the ‘surge’ in Iraq, the question is, how realistic is it that Gates will be able to do more than ‘consider’ sending more troops to Afghanistan?

I’m against legislation (as opposed to nonbinding resolutions) capping the number of troops in Iraq. The Congress should set policy, and the President and those reporting to him should have the maximum reasonable leeway to figure out how to execute that policy. I’m glad Clinton’s taking a stand against escalation, but this is the wrong instrument to effect that policy.

I would be all for Congress passing a new AUMF for Iraq, defining a phased withdrawal over the next 18-24 months as the sole remaining war aim, and superseding all previous AUMFs applicable to that country.

Nitpicks:

  1. Lieberman no longer controls the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. Some mildly lefty guy noticed that it was more or less abandoned, so he joined it, held an organizational meeting, and elected himself party chair. Just for the sheer hell of it, so Lieberman’s own party could thumb its nose at Lieberman.

  2. It wouldn’t advance GOP interests to veto bills cutting off funding for any part of the war. Bush’s trick of funding Iraq through ‘emergency’ legislation separate from the regular budget process has come back to bite him: the sole means by which the Dems could cut off funding for the escalation would be to cut the funds out of the emergency legislation funding the war as a whole. If Bush vetoes such a bill, he’s de-funded his own war. So he’s stuck with taking whatever funds the Dems give him.

I don’t know, but I’m not ready to believe that Gates is just making stuff up like this, so he must have some idea. And it’s probably not that many more, since we don’t have that many over there now (relative to Iraq). I’d like to see all the NATO members pony up. This is their fight as much as ours.

You’re such a hawk… I’d make the timeframe shorter. :wink:

Yeah, I pretty much agree with that, except I’d want us to continue training the ISF. Whether that happens in Iraq or somewhere else, I don’t know.

Maliki says he can take over security efforts sooner if we speed up our arming of their troops. I’d be OK with that, provided they reached some acceptable compromise with the Sunnis on oil revenue sharing. I’d like to see every Iraqi adult citizen getting some money from the oil profits, and not just have it distributed to regional governments. Give each citizen a stake in stability.

He has so little legitimacy at this point that Lieberman’s impact on it, if he has one, is not worth worrying about.

I don’t like the guy at all, but I don’t know why you’re so amped up about it. There are already more than enough Republicans to continue a filibuster, as you say yourself. So who cares about Lieberman? Yes, if nine Republicans decided to vote against a filibuster and Lieberman decided to support the filibuster, his vote would matter. How likely do you think that is? If Lieberman is a Democrat and the Dems had 52 votes against that hypothetical filibuster instead of 51, would that be important?

Even more hypothetical. You’re saying “Because Lieberman could vote against the Democrats, they’ll need 17 Republicans to vote with them instead of a mere 16!” Lieberman’s vote seems extremely un-vital in those terms.

Update: Another key Pub, Senator John Warner (R-PA), former chair of the Armed Services Committee, has endorsed a resolution opposing the “surge.”