Tuesday, January 2, 2007
U.S. President George W. Bush plans to announce his new strategy for Iraq sometime this week, according to a senior administration source quoted by the BBC.
That strategy will reportedly include a troop increase and will focus on securing Iraq rather than training Iraqi forces. Bush will reveal the strategy in a speech “within days,” according to the BBC. Its theme will be sacrifice. Other news agencies have yet to confirm the BBC report.
The announcement comes as Democrats are preparing to start back to work on Thursday in Washington as the new majority, having won many of their new seats by vowing to pull troops out of Iraq.
Bush’s new strategy would also prove to be a rebuke of the long-heralded Iraq Study Group report, which he commissioned. It nudged the president toward a policy of negotiations with countries like Iran and Syria, previously seen as enemies, and eventual withdrawal.
Bush met with advisers during December to decide how to proceed in Iraq. Before taking a vacation in Crawford, Tex., his spokesman said the announcement of a new strategy would come sometime after the New Year. Some have speculated that meant he would include in his State of the Union address to Congress expected later this month.
However, the timing of a speech this week may be pointed toward Capitol Hill anyway, as Democrats said they plan to largely sideline Bush’s Republican party from the first 100 hours of lawmaking as the new legislature convenes.