Monday, September 03, 2007

Commander-in-Chief Visits Iraq


AL-ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) - President Bush, briefed by U.S. military commanders and Iraqi leaders, said Monday some American forces could be sent home if security across Iraq improves as it has in Anbar province, a former hotbed of Sunni insurgency.

But the president, flanked by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, did not say how many troops could be withdrawn or how soon.

Despite intense pressure at home for cutbacks, Bush said decisions about troop levels "will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground - not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media.

"In other words," the president told cheering troops, "when we begin to draw down troops from Iraq it will be from a position of strength and success - not from a position of fear and failure."

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