Top Republican Calls for New Iraq Plan

Lugar urges Bush to pursue economic and diplomatic strategy
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2007 1:06 PM CDT
US Senator John Kerry(L), D-MA, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN, and...   (Getty Images (by Event))
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(Newser) – An influential Republican senator abandoned his support for President Bush's Iraq war strategy last night with a call to cut back the US military's role in the region and focus more on diplomatic and economic options. Richard Lugar, the senior minority member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has a reputation for rising above partisan sniping, reports the Indianapolis Star.

"We have overestimated what the military can achieve," Lugar said in a long speech on the Senate floor. He said he opposes a full withdrawal but pointed to three factors impeding US efforts:  "the political fragmentation in Iraq, the growing stress on our military, and the constraints of our own domestic political process."