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Apr 10,2008
Bush signs off on drawdown suspension
by UPI

WASHINGTON -- A suspension of troop withdrawals, a reduction in tours of duty and a choice for Iran topped U.S. President George Bush's remarks Thursday.

Bush said he endorses Army Gen. David Petraeus' assessment that there should be a period of assessment and evaluation after the current troop drawdown ends in July.

"He'll have all the time he needs" to evaluate and assess the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, Bush said.

Bush said he directed that the troop deployment will drop from 15 months to 12 months, effective Aug. 1. He said he also would ensure units have a year home "for every year in the field."

As the Middle Eastern country becomes "a free Iraq that can protect its people, support itself economically and take care of its political affairs," Iran will have a choice, Bush said.

Iran, which has backed anti-American militias, can have a peaceful relationship with Iraq, which America would support. If it chooses to continue to fund terrorists, "America will protect our interests," Bush said.

Bush also pressed Congress to pass the "fiscally responsible" $108 billion war funding request that provides troops needed resources and doesn't hamstring military leaders or contain a withdrawal timetable.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Troop levels hinge on Petraeus' assessment by UPI posted on Mar 19,2008

Gates, Petraeus at odds over withdrawal by UPI posted on Apr 11,2008

Iraq update opens with call for exit plan by UPI posted on Apr 08,2008

Bush: Get to work, Congress by UPI posted on Dec 03,2007

Official: 'Pause' in troop reduction brief by UPI posted on Feb 29,2008

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