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Senators rap Bush govt on Iraq policies

July 30, 2003

WASHINGTON, July 29: US senators from both parties on Tuesday assailed the Bush administration for not spelling out the costs of rebuilding Iraq, and for focusing on Iraq’s role in “terrorism” to the exclusion of other threats.

In sometimes testy exchanges with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also accused the administration of glossing over the problems of stabilizing Iraq and the long-term need for a major military presence.

“Because of some combination of bureaucratic inertia, political caution and unrealistic expectations left over from the war, we do not appear to be confident about our course in Iraq,” said Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican.

“I think you’re going to lose the American people if you don’t come forward now and tell them what you know, that it’s going to cost tens of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars and tens of thousands of American troops for an extended period of time,” said Sen. Joe Biden, a Delaware Democrat.—Reuters