President Bush and his Republican congressional allies are determined to keep our nation in a political and military quagmire in Iraq. With threats of a presidential veto and Senate filibuster, they persist in their fundamentally flawed policy to prolong our involvement in Iraq without end. Time and again, President Bush has asked the men and women of our armed services to perform longer tours of duty, while Iraqi politicians fail to establish a stable government.

Military experts have confirmed that the war is wearing out our troops faster than they can be rested, re-trained and re-equipped. We will begin to see a significant degradation of our readiness in the next year if we do not begin drawing down our troop levels in Iraq.

I support the Iraq Bridge Plan because this legislation provides only four months of additional funding for the Iraq war, and requires President Bush to begin bringing troops home in the next 30 days. The plan also sets a hard date of December 15th, 2008 to end our combat involvement in Iraq.

These are realistic goals, but they require that the Iraqi government take responsibility to end the political strife that is tearing their society apart. Our soldiers can accomplish any mission we give them; they have reduced the violence in Iraq, and they have helped build schools, roads and power plants. But they cannot make the people of Iraq learn to live together, and our troops should not be required to keep those warring factions apart for years on end.