Bush: 8,000 Troops Home By February

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush plans to keep U.S. troop levels in Iraq near their current level through the end of the year.

Bush says he will return about 8,000 troops to the U.S. by February.

The president says "additional reductions will be possible in the first half of 2009" if security in Iraq keeps improving.

He made the announcement Tuesday in a speech to the National Defense University in Washington.

Bush says violence in Iraq is at its lowest point since the spring of 2004. And he says normal life is returning to Iraqi communities and political reconciliation is moving forward. But he cautions that progress is still fragile and could be reversed.

The president also outlines what he says will be a "quiet surge" of additional American forces in Afghanistan, bringing the U.S. presence there to nearly 31,000, compared with about 146,000 in Iraq.

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  • by A Location: COS on Sep 10, 2008 at 06:00 PM
    We don't have control in Afghanistan...that is why he is going to start sending more troops there instead of Iraq. There has been a surge of more violence there. My son will also return in February 2009, which we knew when he was deployed, so if Bush is looking for praise, look somewhere else. It was already a done deal.
  • by David Location: C Springs on Sep 10, 2008 at 04:51 PM
    Colin: Please do not equate 9-11 and Iraq. They have NOTHING to do with each other. The troops will start coming home when Obama brings them home.
  • by Martinez Location: Southside on Sep 10, 2008 at 04:44 PM
    Colin, incase you forgot, Iraq didnt attack us. Unless we take their oil, we have no business there. We could easily pay this war ourselves, but the Neocons are in charge of both the war and the oil companies, and guess whos hurting? Iraqi and American families. Bush is just pandering, trying to make his ratings go up. If he brought home 20,000 troops I would be impressed. All we have to do is establish a base there, and let them kill eachother, we take the oil.
  • by Colin Location: CO Springs on Sep 10, 2008 at 07:26 AM
    So, Richard, how would you have handled 9/11 ? And when you go in, do you not occupy, you just go blow up the city and leave ? Do we not keep control in Afghanistan ? War is always sad and destructive. I have a son there, too. But what would be your plan ?
  • by richard Location: Taji, Iraq on Sep 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM
    What a joke. Don't believe the hype, people. 8,000 soldiers were already scheduled to redeploy in February anyway. My brigade is here for 15 months and we already knew about leaving in February since December 2007. This is what you call "Political posturing", making it look like he is doing us a favor when he is not. Most of the public doesn't track deployment times and has no clue when a unit returns. The 8,000 or so soldiers already knew last year that their redeployment back home was February 2009. What a joke. This administration has done nothing but destroy our country, families and way of life. Very, very sad these last 8 years.
  • by Julie Location: Pueblo on Sep 9, 2008 at 06:59 AM
    ....So he says!!!!
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