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Bush Defends Iraq Policy In Address To Nation Tonight

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush defends his Iraq policy tonight
in an address to the nation from the White House.

Advance word is that the president will essentially endorse the
troop drawdown recommended by his top war general in testimony
before Congress this week. The 30,000 extra troops ordered in last
winter would gradually be pulled out, getting the force back down
to the pre-surge level of 130,000 by next summer.

Administration officials reject Democratic arguments that it's a
recipe for a never-ending war but do say more troops would be
brought home only if there is continued progress.

Slamming congressional critics, departing Press Secretary Tony
Snow said yesterday that a hastier exit would be a disaster. In his
words, there would be "complete, bloody chaos."

A plan being pushed by congressional leaders would omit
deadlines but redefine objectives. U.S. troops would be used
primarily to train Iraqis and fight terrorists.


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