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Influential Democrat Against More U.S. Troops In Iraq

Joseph Biden (file photo) (RFE/RL) December 27, 2006 -- The incoming chairman of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee says he will oppose any effort by President George W. Bush to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Senator Joseph Biden, a member of the Democratic Party that will take majority control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress in January, told reporters that he believes any new U.S. troop "surge" into Iraq would be the "absolute wrong strategy."

Biden, who is from the state of Delaware, also said he intends to run for president in the 2008 election.

Biden's comments came as defense officials were quoted as saying the United States was preparing to send more than 3,000 troops from the United States to Kuwait for likely deployment in Iraq.

Bush is reported to be considering options including a short-term increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq in order to quell fighting and instability. The United States currently has some 135,000 troops in Iraq.

(compiled from agency reports)

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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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