July 23rd, 2007
09:16 PM ET
7 years ago

Richardson: Troop pullout must precede diplomacy in Iraq

(CNN) - Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico, says diplomacy won't work in Iraq until U.S. troops have left.

"The diplomatic work cannot begin to heal Iraq, to protect our interests without our troops out," he said in Monday night's debate.

Iran and Syria are calling for the United States to leave, but an important U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, which borders Iraq, has specifically warned that a precipitous American pullout could prompt the Saudis and other Sunni block nations to lend military aid to Sunni Muslims in Iraq– a warning that doesn't bode well for the prospects for diplomacy.

- CNN State Dept. Producer Elise Labott

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois

    Richardson seems to be talking a lot about diplomacy and peace keeping and to be honest I question, whether or not, if a situation occurred that needed military action, he would be willing or able to stand up and take action as Commander and Chief. Peace and diplomacy should always be the first step but Richardson has yet to say when he believes that a situation has escalated enough to call for military action. If massive numbers of women and children are being raped in Darfur is not enough then what is?

    July 23, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  2. Phil, Columbus, Ohio

    Richardson won the debate. He is a re-elected Governor with good ideas. He could actually win the election.
    He really wants us out of Iraq now!

    July 23, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    I think Richardson's response was irresponsible, even a little dangerous, especially coming from someone with his resume. Pulling all of our troops from Iraq all at once is irresponsible, would likely leave our interests vulnerable, and would not lead to anyone wanting to come to the negotiating table seeking a political solution. I'm in favor of withdrawal, but not like Richardson is proposing.

    July 24, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |