Bush Visits Iraq, Says Some Troops Might Come Home

Surprise war council in Iraq points to improving security

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2007 12:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fewer US troops will be needed in Iraq if security conditions continue to improve, said President Bush today during a surprise visit to Iraq. The pronouncement came after meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker–both of whom will be testifying before Congress next week on the status of the Iraq war.

Speaking from Anbar Province, where Sunni insurgency has been quelled due in part the  troop surge, Bush urged Congress to withhold judgment until Petraeus submitted his report, due September 15. Bush was flanked by his war cabinet for the first time in Iraq–Secretary of State Condi Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs  Peter Pace.

President Bush, right, shakes hands with with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, as President Jalal Talabani, second from left, looks on at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to Iraq to meet with Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of...
President Bush, right, shakes hands with with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, as President Jalal Talabani, second from left, looks on at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept....   (Associated Press)
President Bush, center, arrives at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, as Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, left and CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon, right, look on, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to Iraq to meet with Petraeus, Ambassador...
President Bush, center, arrives at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, as Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, left and CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon,...   (Associated Press)
President Bush, right, is welcomed by Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, as he arrives at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq,  Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to Iraq to meet with Petraeus, Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, Iraqi leaders,...
President Bush, right, is welcomed by Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, as he arrives at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The...   (Associated Press)
President Bush, right, stands with Gen. David Petraeus as he arrives for a surprise visit at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to Iraq to meet with Petraeus, commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to...
President Bush, right, stands with Gen. David Petraeus as he arrives for a surprise visit at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to...   (Associated Press)
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