Sen. Richard Lugar, a respected figure in the Republican Party and a traditional backer of the president’s war policy, has broken with the White House and called for a draw-down of troops in Iraq — ahead of the much-touted September review of the surge. In what some have described as a watershed speech on the Senate floor, Lugar warned that the coming election would make rational policy choices in Iraq politically unrealistic.


Sen. Richard Lugar, one of the Senate’s most senior Republicans and a respected voice on foreign affairs, has broken ranks with the Bush administration over the issue of Iraq, calling for the U.S. to downsize its military role there.

Lugar (R-IN) said the White House strategy on Iraq is not working and that the U.S. should draw down its troop commitment.

The unusually blunt assessment comes as a surprise. Most Republicans have said they were willing to wait until September to see whether Bush’s recently ordered troop buildup in Iraq was working.

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