Bush declares progress in Iraq war, says terrorists "on the run"

US President George W. Bush declared significant progress in the Iraq war Thursday, saying terrorists "are on the run" and that generally improved security likely will permit further US troop reductions. Standing on the Colonnade outside the Oval Office of the White House, Bush also announced that effective Thursday, the duration of troop tours in Iraq will be cut from 15 months to 12 months. Bush said this reduction "will relieve the burden on our forces and it will make life easier for our wonderful military families." The president's updated report on Iraq was delivered on short notice to the White House press corps and it came with the war in its sixth year and violence on the ground substantially decreased in recent weeks.