President Bush spoke Monday from a surprise visit to Iraq. He was with his war cabinet and top war commanders at a base in the Anbar province about 120 miles west of Baghdad. After meeting with Gen. Petraeus, he said that drawing down the troop levels in Iraq will be a possibility as long as the security situation keeps progressing as it has been over the last few months.
Bush did not say how large a troop withdrawal might be possible or whether it might occur before next spring when the first of the additional 30,000 troops he ordered to Iraq this year are to start coming home anyway. He emphasized that any cut would depend upon progress.
After talks with Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commandeer in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Bush said they “tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces.”