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U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell proposed a postconflict four-stage transition plan Thursday for a new Iraqi government and called for a long-term U.S. commitment in Iraq.

In a hearing before the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Powell said if the United States goes to war with Iraq to topple President Saddam Hussein, the U.S. military commander in charge of the operation will also take charge of the country for a period of time.

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