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Security politics


The AP says of the forthcoming Democratic bill on the supplemental, "Democrats familiar with the emerging legislation said the bill would require President Bush to certify that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was making progress toward providing for his country's security, allocating its oil revenues and creating a fair system for amending its constitution.  They said if Bush certified the Iraqis were meeting these so-called benchmarks, U.S. combat troops could remain until September of next year.  Otherwise, the deadline would move up to the end of 2007." 

The Washington Post on Democrats' split over the bill: "Because Republicans have stood remarkably united against the Democratic effort, the loss of just a handful of Democratic votes could lead to an embarrassing public defeat.  At least a dozen of the 43 conservative 'Blue Dogs'… could bolt if Democrats move toward withdrawal too aggressively.  But dozens of antiwar Democrats say they cannot support legislation that is too meek." 

Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander of US ground forces in Iraq, "has recommended that the heightened American troop levels there be maintained through February 2008, military officials said Wednesday," per the New York Times.  "The White House has never said exactly how long it intends the troop buildup to last, but military officials say the increased American force level will begin declining in August unless additional units are sent or more units are held over." 

MoveOn and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg unveil a new opinion survey at the National Press Club on Iraq and how it's playing out in key 2008 battleground districts.