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Democrats Want Faster Deployment But Won't Say How Fast

If Gen. David Petraeus offered the keys to the future in Iraq this week, Democrats have decided to jump in the driver's seat and press the accelerator.

At a Capitol news conference Wednesday, Democratic Senate leaders said they would offer amendments next week that would mandate a much more rapid redeployment of troops while also mandating a change of mission in Iraq that would transition troop responsibilities from combat to support and training duties.

Petraeus has recommended that 30,000 troops involved in the surge come home by next July, and Democrats have argued that's not nearly fast enough. But when pressed for specifics about the pace of deployment and where overall troop levels should be by next year, Democratic leaders on Wednesday refused to offer specifics. Democrats have also backed off timetables for complete withdrawal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is being coy about the exact language in legislation Democrats will offer next week because he is trying to figure out how to write amendments that are aggressive enough to keep Democrats on board while luring just enough Republicans _ at least 10 _ to achieve 60 votes necessary to cut off a GOP filibuster.

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