Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says President Bush’s Iraq war plan has been an "absolute failure." Bush is expected to announce tonight that U.S. troop levels in Iraq will decrease 30,000 by next summer at the recommendation of the general in charge.

"He cannot shirk this off as the decision made by his generals," Biden says. "This is the president’s war. These are the president’s decisions and the president has had a failed policy from the outset."

According to Biden, Bush promised the Iraqi Army would be trained and equipped so it could secure its own country and the "surge" of American troops would give Iraqi lawmakers breathing room to reconcile their political differences and quell the insurgency.

"Both of those policies are an absolute failure," Biden says. "$20 billion later, four and a half years later the Iraqi Army is still four years away from being able to stand up in the sense that they can relieve Americans of their responsibilities, militarily, in Iraq."

Biden, a senator from Delaware, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which heard testimony this week from the top U.S. general in Iraq.  

"America will not be safer continuing this policy," Biden says. "I know how to make America safer –immediately begin to draw down American combat troops as I have been proposing for over a year and a half."

Biden held a news conference on the steps of the Iowa statehouse this morning with the Democratic Leader in the Iowa House who has endorsed Biden’s bid for the White House. Biden will be in Atlantic over the noon-hour, then he’ll attend a campaign house party in Council Bluffs this evening.

You may listen to Biden’s remarks about Iraq by clicking on the audio link below..


AUDIO: Biden at Iowa Statehouse (mp3 runs 5 min 15 sec)