Daily Revolt

January 12, 2008

Bush Prepared to Slow Reduction of Forces in Iraq

Conqueror in Chief:
President Bush said Saturday that he was prepared to slow or even halt further reductions of forces in Iraq, emphasizing that any decision depended on security and the stability of the Iraqi government.

After meeting with Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker here at a sprawling desert base in neighboring Kuwait, Mr. Bush noted the sharp reduction in attacks on American troops and Iraqi civilians in recent months, saying the decline in violence was too hard-won to be squandered.

“We cannot take the achievements of 2007 for granted,” he said. “We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 brings even greater progress for Iraq’s young democracy.”

With Congress returning to work on Tuesday and a presidential election campaign in full swing, Mr. Bush set the stage for a renewed political debate this year over the Iraq war.

As some brigades withdraw this spring and summer, the total number of troops in Iraq will remain at the level they have been almost from the beginning of the war in 2003, nearly five years ago.

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