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Security Politics

Pelosi and members of her recent delegation to Iraq and Afghanistan plan to go to the White House later today to brief the President on their trip.  Roll Call raises the possibility that even though House Democrats will have a limited Q+A session with Bush at their retreat this Saturday, there could be some unscripted moments on Iraq. 

The Washington Post reports on internal splits among Republicans over which resolution(s) to support.  "Vice President Cheney and senior military officials attended a Republican policy lunch yesterday, which turned into a raucous debate about the various resolutions...  Bush will meet with GOP senators on Friday as the White House continues to try to tamp down opposition...  Having chastised Democrats for not showing unity on Iraq, Republican leaders have decided they need a resolution of their own when the Senate begins debate on nonbinding resolutions of opposition next week." 

The San Francisco Chronicle writes that the Iraq war "already has cost the Republicans control of Congress, devastated the Bush presidency and made Democrats the favorites heading into the 2008 presidential campaign."  Now, "there is widening concern among Republicans that losing what was described widely in 2003 as 'the biggest gamble of the modern presidency' could hurt their party's electoral prospects for a generation to come."   

The New York Daily News plays up GOP Sen. Arlen Specter's comment yesterday that Bush is not the sole "decider" when it comes to Iraq. 

The Washington Times notes how "at least a dozen Democratic senators who in the past have called for more troops in Iraq... now support a resolution condemning President Bush's plan to do just that.  Many Republicans who voted for the war now plan to support a no-confidence resolution, including Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who in the past had warned that the war would be a long, tough slog and that Americans should 'speak with one voice.'" 

USA Today looks at how "Democratic leaders in Congress plan to make extensive changes to the Bush administration's anticipated $100 billion request for new war funds.  They want to redirect money from Iraq to military readiness at home and say Iraq, Afghanistan and other NATO countries must carry more of the financial burden.  The administration is to formally seek the new money Monday." 

Bloomberg previews Casey's expected trial by bipartisan fire tomorrow during his confirmation hearing to become Army chief of staff.  "Democrats who oppose [Bush's] Iraq troop buildup are likely to ask Casey how he can support it after earlier saying more forces were unnecessary.  Republicans who favor adding troops plan to ask the departing U.S. commander in Iraq  why he stuck with a flawed battle plan long after it was failing.  And lawmakers of both parties may question whether he was candid with them in the past."  More: "Casey is politically vulnerable because he is one of the last of the senior Pentagon officials who ran the war still in government." 

Adm. William Fallon, who has been tapped by Bush to oversee his new strategy for Iraq, "testified yesterday that he does not know much about the plan that the administration says will determine whether the U.S. wins the war."  He also "specifically declined to endorse Mr. Bush's plan, saying he first has to get to the region and assess matters." 

The New York Times: "In an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, President Bush said stern measures aimed at Iran should not be seen as a precursor to war.  'Some are trying to take my words and say, "Well, what he's really trying to do is go invade Iran,"' he said.  'Nobody's talking about that.'"