WASHINGTON (CNN) — One of the Senate’s top Republicans has called on President Bush to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq by Christmas, telling reporters Thursday that a pullout was needed to spur Iraqi leaders to action.
Sen. John Warner of Virginia, the influential former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he has recommended that Bush announce the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal in mid-September, after a report is released from the top U.S. officials in Iraq.
“In my humble judgment, that would get everyone’s attention the attention that is not being paid at this time,” said Warner.
Warner met at the White House on Thursday with Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the White House official responsible for coordinating Iraq issues.
Warner said the president and other leading Bush administration officials have repeatedly said the American commitment to Iraq was not open-ended.
“The time has come to put some meaningful teeth into those comments — to back them up with some clear, decisive action,” Warner added.