White House passes problem of exit strategy to next US president
VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA: President George W. Bush all but guaranteed on Thursday that the US will maintain a large-scale military presence in Iraq until the end of his term. Acting on the advice of his top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, Bush said he would bring home only 20,000 of the 30,000 troops he sent to Iraq last year as part of the surge.
GEORGE W. BUSH, US PRESIDENT: General Petraeus says he’ll need time to consolidate his forces and assess how this reduced American presence will affect conditions on the ground before making measured recommendations on further reductions. And I’ve told him he’ll have all the time he needs.
NKWETA: The decision means it is almost certain that some 140,000 US troops will still be in Iraq early next year.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: When are we going to bring the troops home? This is a question we have been asking the president over and over again. He is just dragging this out so he can put it at the doorstep of the new president of the United States.
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