President Bush said today that he was “not satisfied” with the situation in Iraq and that the United States was shifting its tactics and working on a timetable with the Iraqi government that includes political measures to stem some of the violence.
“As the enemy shifts tactics we are shifting our tactics as well,” said Mr. Bush, speaking at a news conference at the White House a day after the American ambassador in Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, laid out a timetable for political measures he said the Iraqi government had agreed to take.
On Tuesday, the top American military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., said that with effective government action on the political measures, Iraqi troops should be able to take over the main burden of the war in 12 to 18 months, allowing American troops to move to a support role.
With the mid-term elections just weeks ago, the Iraq war has figured prominently as the administration defends its strategy in the country. Mr. Bush has often sent a message to the American public that the United States must “stay the course” in Iraq, and in his remarks today he emphasized that the goal was the same, but the tactics would be flexible.