Senator Bond warns against making a political decision to withdraw from Iraq. His warning comes as Republicans and Democrats argue about the direction of the war as part of the debate on a defense authorization bill.

Democrats have shelved an amendment that would have required withdrawal of US troops from Iraq within nine months. Other similar moves have been unable to collect the 60 votes needed to break a threatened Republican filibuster.

Senator Bond, a Republican, says a pull-out now would spell failure. Bond acknowledges political progress in Iraq has been slow, but he insists some progress has been made. Bond tells colleagues the counter-insurgency now in place is working and that the military in Iraq should make the decisions on troop withdrawals, not senators sitting in an "air-conditioned building".

Bond says America has clear goals in Iraq:  to prevent chaos, genocide and a region-wide war.

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