Bush Sets a Target for Iraq Transition
Posted on Mar 14, 2006
The president, who has until now refused to set concrete withdrawal timelines, now vows to cede control of most of the country to Iraqi forces by the end of 2006.
Check out a full-text version of his speech.
President Bush vowed for the first time yesterday to turn over most of Iraq to newly trained Iraqi troops by the end of this year, setting a specific benchmark as he kicked off a fresh drive to reassure Americans alarmed by the recent burst of sectarian violence.
Bush, who until now has resisted concrete timelines as the Iraq war dragged on longer than he expected, outlined the target in the first of a series of speeches intended to lay out his strategy for victory. While acknowledging grim developments on the ground, Bush declared “real progress” in standing up Iraqi forces capable of defending their nation.