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Hillary wants US troops out of Iraq

US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that US President George W Bush should withdraw all US troops from Iraq before he leaves office, saying it would be "the height of irresponsibility" to pass the war along to the next commander in chief. "This was his decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy," the Democratic senator said in her first presidential campaign tour through the early-voting state of Iowa.

"We expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office" in January 2009, the former first lady said. The White House condemned Clinton's comments as a partisan attack that undermines US soldiers. About 130,000 American troops are in Iraq, and Bush has announced this month he was sending 21,500 more as part of his new war strategy.

Pressed during a forum to defend her vote to authorize force in Iraq before the US-led invasion in March 2003, Clinton responded by increasing her criticism of Bush. "I am going to level with you, the president has said this is going to be left to his successor," Clinton said. "I think it is the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it."

Bush describes Iraq as the central front in the global fight against terrorism that began after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Tags: Hillary Clinton Iraq Bush

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