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Rice Tells Lawmakers of Plan for Victory in Iraq


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Bush administration has a strategy to "assure victory" in Iraq.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice said the plan is to clear out areas under insurgent control, hold those areas securely, and build durable, national Iraqi institutions.

She said the United States will send in teams of diplomatic and military personnel working together to help Iraqis train police, and set up essential services.

Ms. Rice's testimony Wednesday comes just days after Iraqis voted in a referendum on a new constitution.

Senators pressed the secretary for specifics, including when the 150-thousand U.S. troops in Iraq might start coming home.

The secretary refused to offer a timetable, saying any withdrawal depends on Iraqi forces being able to fight the insurgents independently.

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