Bush Vows Modest Pullback in Wake of 'Success'

'Endless military presence' slammed by Dems
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 5:09 AM CDT
President Bush, shakes hands with Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, right, leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening -- an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush announced that 24,000 troops will return home by July 2008 in an address to the nation in which he touted advancements in Iraq. He termed the reduction "a return on success" that could be squandered by larger withdrawals. Troops could still be added, however, so the total in 2008 could end up higher than the pre-surge number in 2006, the New York Times reports.

Bush also called for an "enduring" relationship with Iraq involving troops beyond his presidency. Last night's 18-minute speech was attacked by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, who said Bush painted a future of an "endless and unlimited military presence in Iraq, failing to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it."