From NBC's Ken Strickland
Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama today introduced legislation calling for a phased redeployment of US troops in Iraq to be concluded by March 31, 2008. "The time for waiting in Iraq is over," he said this evening on the Senate floor. "The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close. And the need to bring this war to an end is here."
His bill, "The Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007," also caps the number of US troops in Iraq to those there on January 10, 2007. Parts of his bill are consistent with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group -- which Obama says President Bush has "so assiduously ignored." If the Iraqi government is successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks laid out by the Bush Administration, Obama's plan allows for a temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees.
Introducing his bill on the senate floor moments ago, Obama called his legislation a responsible course of action: "Too many lives have been lost and too many billions have been spent for us to trust the president on another tried and failed policy." He concluded by saying, "It is time to give Iraqis their country back."