WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A powerful House Republican has drafted a resolution that would give military commanders the power to decide when U.S. troops should return from Iraq.
Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., the second-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, told House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., that he plans to introduce the resolution soon, The Hill reported Thursday. The resolution would take the decision-making authority over troop withdrawals from U.S. President George Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Weldon, who serves as vice chairman of the Armed Services panel and chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, said the resolution "clearly says that the decision will be made by the commanding generals in the theater (of war). They're the ones we're paying to do the job. They know what the criteria are, they're the best to assess the readiness of the Iraqi brigades."
"(The commanders) determine the timetable for bringing the troops back home," Weldon told The Hill. "There's no armchair politician back here making those decisions, whether it's an elected member of Congress or even the secretary of the defense."