Sens. Warner and Lugar Call for Revised Iraq Strategy by October

Two top Senate Republicans urge the president for change in Iraq strategy.

ByABC News
February 11, 2009, 2:59 AM

July 15, 2007 — -- Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., reiterated their call for the president to present a revised strategy for the war in Iraq by Oct. 16 in an exclusive "This Week" interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

The Senate's most senior Republican statesmen introduced legislation on Friday challenging President Bush's Iraq strategy.

"I'm confident that, when these reports come to the president in September, he will come forward, in a concise way -- we asked him to do it by October 16 -- and present to the nation and to the Congress his revisionist strategy to comport with what's on the ground," Warner said.

Warner, former head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, added that by October "we can hopefully come together in the Congress and revise that resolution so that our forces fighting and the world can see this clear support between the Congress and the president's mission, as he's likely to modify it in the fall."

Lugar expressed his hope that progress be made before the October deadline so that "by the time we come to Oct. 16 ... there is some agreement with Gen. Petraeus and the president."

On whether he would call for a decreased U.S. presence in Iraq a year from now, Warner said "it's hard to look forward a year, but this nation of ours has got to remain in that area."

"What we're looking for now are plans that are much more realistic, with the use of our troops in Iraq and the Middle East and worldwide," Lugar added.

While key Democrats have indicated that they are unlikely to support the Warner-Lugar amendment, Lugar said "I'm hopeful that, in fact, most Democrats will support our amendment, just as a matter of common sense."

Despite the move, considered by some to break with party-lines, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said in a separate interview the senators have "done a useful service in indicating the kinds of things that we should be thinking about. But the time to begin that process is September."