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Dean urges U.S. military to re-focus role in Iraq

Democrats promote 'training, logistics and counterterrorism' role

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Iraq
Democratic Party
Howard Dean
Radio address

(CNN) -- Democratic leader Howard Dean on Saturday slammed the Bush administration's war policy and offered a "tough and smart" plan for the redeployment and reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of the year.

"The majority of Democrats have called upon the president to change course in Iraq," said Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman.

Dean -- who made the remarks in the Democrats' weekly radio response -- said "we believe that we ought to focus on training, logistics and counter-terrorism."

He added this can be achieved through a number of steps, including a phased redeployment of troops by the end of December, a plan for Congress outlining the estimated dates for a redeployment, and "accountability for the resources being spent in Iraq."

This Democratic plan also calls for a scaled-down use of U.S. troops and use them only for training, logistical support, protecting U.S. infrastructure and personnel, and participating in targeted counterterrorism activities.

After the phased redeployment plan has been put into motion, Dean said the focus will shift to sustaining a "nonmilitary effort to actively support reconstruction, governance and a durable political solution in Iraq."

He concluded by saying the Iraqi leaders themselves have set a six-month goal for assuming their responsibility for security and the Democratic plan dovetails with Iraq's plans "very well."

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