WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush will delay announcing a new Iraq strategy until the new year, the White House said on Tuesday amid polls showing Americans are more pessimistic about the war and want a change.
After Bush held talks with U.S. military commanders about their assessment and possible options, the White House said the president’s new policy would be presented next year, probably in January.
“He decided that, frankly, it’s not ready yet,” White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
Aides previously said Bush hoped to announce a new strategy next week, before the Christmas holiday.
Bush is facing conflicting advice on how to shift course. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group report last week recommended pulling out most U.S. combat troops by early 2008 with a rapid increase in training of Iraqi forces.
But Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), an Arizona Republican, has called for a short-term increase in U.S. troops, and other military experts who met with Bush on Monday disagreed with the Iraq Study Group’s position on withdrawing troops.
New public opinion polls offered Bush a sobering picture of American doubts about his policy. A CBS News poll found Americans have never been as pessimistic about the war, with more than 60 percent saying it was a mistake.
“The president believes that in putting together a way forward he will be able to address a lot of the concerns that the American public has, the most important of which is, what is your plan for winning?” Snow said.
Bush presided over a secure videoconference on Tuesday with U.S. military commanders in Baghdad, Gens. John Abizaid and George Casey, and his national security team at the White House, including Robert Gates, who will be
Resumen: WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush will delay announcing a new Iraq strategy until the new year, the White House said on Tuesday amid polls showing Americans are more pessimistic about the war and want a change.