Thompson proposes plan to phase troops out of Iraq

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By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

A plan from Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., would block President George Bush's plan to increase troops in Iraq.

Thompson's resolution, introduced Thursday, mirrors one that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., proposed in the Senate earlier this week.

The Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 would begin phasing troops from Iraq starting in May, taking all combat soldiers from the country by March 31, 2008.

andquot;Their job is done,andquot; Thompson said.

The measure would also require congressional approval to send more troops to the nation beyond the number in Iraq as of Jan. 10. Some troops could stay to train Iraq security forces and complete counter-terrorism work.

Thompson's resolution calls for Iraq to meet a goal of spending up to $10 billion for reconstruction, job creation and economic development.

It does not require U.S. funds for those and other humanitarian efforts, setting conditions on them, instead. Thompson called such provisions a separate issue and added that other countries would also need to fund that work.

He stressed his goal to remove U.S. soldiers from a civil war zone.

andquot;We need to get our troops out of there,andquot; he said.

The proposal comes as Bush seeks to boost the number of American troops in Iraq to quell increasing violence and attacks.

andquot;The Bush administration wanted to go in in the worst way and we did and we're paying for that now,andquot; said Thompson, a Vietnam veteran who voted with the minority against a 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. andquot;I was right.andquot;

Reach Hilary Corrigan at hcorrigan@triplicate.com .

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