President George W. Bush will tell the United States Thursday night that he plans to reduce the American troop presence in Iraq by as many as 30,000 by the middle of next year but will condition those and further cuts on continued progress, The Associated Press has learned.
In a 15-minute address from the White House, Bush will endorse the recommendations of his top general and top diplomat in Iraq, following their appearances at two days of hearings in Congress, administration officials said. The White House plans to issue a written status report on the so-called surge on Friday, they said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Bush's speech is not yet final. Bush was rehearsing his remarks Tuesday even as the US commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker were presenting their arguments for a second day in Congress.