Bush says 'hope is returning' in Iraq thanks to troop surge

US President George W. Bush said Saturday that he has made no decision on bringing more US troops home from Iraq, and if his top commander does not want to go beyond the reduction of forces that's already planned, "that's fine with me." "The only thing I can tell you is we're on track for what we've said was going to happen," Bush said, referring to plans to withdraw some 30,000 troops from Iraq by July. He spoke at a sprawling, dusty brown US military base here, the largest in Kuwait and home to 9,000 American troops. Bush said the build-up of US troops in Iraq that he ordered one year ago has turned the country into a place where "hope is returning." And he predicted a US force presence in Iraq that would long outlast his presidency. "We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress," Bush said. He said long-term success in Iraq in vital to stability in the Mideast, and warned that the United States should not turn its back on its friends.