Bush Marks War Anniversary With Pentagon Speech

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
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As the war in Iraq enters its sixth year, President Bush is calling it a noble, just and necessary battle.

In a speech at the Pentagon Wednesday morning, Bush said the troop increase he ordered last year has turned the situation in Iraq around, but speeding the pace of withdrawals could undermine it.

The U.S. has about 158,000 troops in Iraq. That number is expected to drop to 140,000 by summer. Since the troop increase and with a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq and a cease-fire declared by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the number of attacks have declined, particularly in Baghdad.

Bush hailed those developments as "the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden." And he said it's leading the way toward what he called "a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror."

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