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Dodd calls for withdrawal of troops from Iraq

Senator Christopher Dodd said the US strategy in Iraq "makes no sense."

WASHINGTON -- Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat who is considering a run for the White House, argued in a column in an Iowa newspaper yesterday that the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The Iowa caucuses are the first contests for the Democratic nomination for president.

In an op-ed article in The Des Moines Register, the Connecticut lawmaker wrote: "The time has come for the United States to begin the process of getting our troops out of Iraq."

Dodd, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, said in the column that the US strategy in Iraq "makes no sense. It never really did. It is as bad in person as it appears on television."

Appearing on ABC's "This Week" yesterday, Dodd said that he is "trying to raise the necessary resources" for a possible run for the White House.

Whether he will formally declare is "something I'll evaluate over the next couple of weeks," he said.

Dodd, who also visited Syria on his trip to the Middle East, responded to remarks by Tony Snow, White House press secretary, that trips by members of Congress to the country amount to a "PR victory" for the leadership there.

The senator said that to create stability in Iraq "the job isn't to go to garden spots" -- it is to go to "hot spots."

Dodd and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who also recently returned from Iraq and appeared with Dodd on the news show, illustrated the partisan split over what should be done in Iraq.

The Democrat called for dialogue with nations such as Syria. But Graham contended that more troops are needed to stabilize Iraq and allow for a political solution to become possible.

"It's not the lack of dialogue that's the problem with Syria," he said. "It's the actions of the Syrian government."

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