Key Republican Senator Pete V. Domenici broke with US President
George W. Bush and called for an immediate change in US strategy
that could end combat operations in Iraq by spring, The Washington
Post reported on Friday.
That dealt another blow to the White House's efforts to keep
Republicans united over the Iraq war, according to the
The six-term lawmaker, party loyalist and former staunch war
supporter represents one of the most significant Republican losses
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Domenici said he began
to question his stance on Iraq late last month, after several
conversations with the family members of dead soldiers from his
home state, New Mexico, and as it became clear that "Iraqi leaders
are making little progress toward national reconciliation."
"We can not continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely
while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress,"
"I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction
in funding for our troops. But I do support a new strategy that
will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to
The White House had hoped that Republican lawmakers would stand
back until a mid-September administration report on military and
political progress in Iraq resulting from the president's
But Domenici's signal to Bush is clear: Republican patience is
running out much more quickly.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2007)