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US Senate Calls on Bush Administration to Internationalize Iraq Force - 2003-07-11


The U.S. Senate has passed a non-binding resolution calling on the Bush administration to consider requesting troops from NATO allies and United Nations' member states to help stabilize and rebuild Iraq.

The measure passed on a 97-0 vote, reflecting lawmakers' concerns about whether there are enough coalition troops in Iraq to establish security, restore basic services and rebuild the country's infrastructure.

The key sponsor, Democratic Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, said internationalizing the coalition to a greater degree would make the United States, which makes up the bulk of the force, appear less like an occupier.

"We will get a lot more support from the Iraqis, who will be a lot less suspect of us, if we are not the only game in town," he said.

Mr. Biden said broadening the coalition force would reduce the U.S. financial costs of rebuilding Iraq and the risks to American troops, who have come under attack by supporters of ousted leader Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Biden said he believes the administration is reluctant to ask French and German troops to assist in Iraq because of their opposition to the war.

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