U.S. troops on the battlefield will be watching closely to see what the Democrat majority in Congress does to support them, a spokesman for the White House says.

“And I’m not talking about a resolution, I’m talking about continued funding,” spokesman Tony Snow said.

He was responding to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, who asked, “The Democrats, along with some Republicans in the Senate, apparently are planning to express their dissatisfaction with attempts to bring about victory in Iraq by opposing more U.S. troops being ordered there. And my question: What is the alternative if winning isn’t pursued and defeat isn’t acceptable?”

“The president has made it clear,” Snow responded, “we’ve got forces going into the field. You know, it will be interesting. I don’t have the crystal ball.”

But he said, “Members of Congress have a very serious – they’re going to have some serious decisions to make about whether to continue their support for forces in the field. A lot of people pointed to what General Pace had to say yesterday – one of the most important things he had to say is that the measure the troops are going to use about whether they’re supported is whether their activities are going to continue to be supported by members of Congress when these things come up for a vote.”

According to reports, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Peter Pace of the U.S. Marine Corps and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told senators this week that while the president’s plan includes sending another 21,500 troops to Iraq, that could rise by 10 or 15 percent.

That would amount to about 3,000 additional troops.

Pace reported the troops would be used in support of the security of Baghdad and Anbar.

Pace, in the past, has warned that the war on terror is a long-term battle. “We are talking about years and years to come of vigilance,” he has said. “Today’s tactical victory does not guarantee tomorrow’s strategic success.”

Kinsolving also asked about the reported agreement that would fold the Fatah and Hamas Palestinian factions into one group. WND reported that the unity government deal signed will allow for the integration of Hamas militias into security forces controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party.

“News reports last week listed two days in which 70 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians in the Fatah-Hamas killings of each other,” Kinsolving said. “Since they have continued killing each other, along with (as) many Israeli civilians as they can, why is U.S. money by the millions being still sent to what is hardly a government as much as a conclave of competing terrorists who refuse – still refuse, as I understand, to recognize Israel?”

Snow said the U.S. help was being monitored as to its destination. “To the extent that there is aid, it is going to forces that are actually trying to put an end to violence rather than to foment it,” Snow said.

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