July 10th, 2007
10:12 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush expected to address 'post surge' phase

Watch White House spokesman Tony Snow discuss Iraq Tuesday on American Morning.

Watch CNN's Suzanne Malveaux take a look at what will happen after the Bush administration's Iraq progress report hits Congress.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ahead of an interim report on progress in Iraq, President Bush is expected to use Tuesday's town hall meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, as a way to talk directly to Americans about how he would like to eventually get to a "post-surge" phase in Iraq, senior officials told CNN.

However, senior administration officials said that the Bush administration does not plan to make any major changes in its Iraq strategy despite increased calls from Republican lawmakers to begin a drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq.

In addition to reassuring the public, Bush's message is also intended to do some "hand-holding with Republicans on the Hill," in the words of one senior official, to make sure the GOP defections slow down.

It is unclear how that message will play with the growing ranks of Republican senators who have expressed frustration with the Bush administration over its repeated calls for a new strategy, but its inability to significantly retool its Iraq policy.

"Why waste more time in not moving on to the next phase of the strategy, which is to change a mission and redeployment of our troops?" Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican, said on CNN's "American Morning" Tuesday.

The White House has urged patience, saying the recent addition of 21,500 U.S. troops intended to beef-up security in the Iraqi capital was just completed two weeks ago.

One of those dissenting Republicans, Sen. Lamar Alexander, said the so-called "surge" in U.S. forces is not an adequate strategy and called on Bush to implement a plan that "has more broad support in the country, in the Congress, than his current strategy does"

"A new strategy would (be) to say, 'Let's get out of the combat business and into support, equipping and training, as promptly as we honorably can,'" the Tennessee Republican told CNN's "American Morning."

An interim assessment of the Iraqi government's progress on key milestones is expected to be presented to Congress later in the week.

It will show "some of the benchmarks have been made, some of them haven't" and will set off a debate that will result in "the beginning of a new way," White House spokesman Tony Snow told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday.

"What Congress will get this week is a snapshot of the beginning of the retooling of the mission in Iraq," Snow said. "Everyone says, 'We want to do it a different way.' We agree. It's just now started."

Related: Under pressure, White House touts 'retooled' Iraq mission

– CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report


Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I'm sorry the war was started and don't approve of the underlying reasons.

    HOWEVER it appears an abrupt pull-out or an announced pull-out is a second mistake worst than the first. And politicians who are pandering to this near-sightedness without regard to the long-term results do not have my support.

    I wish Romney was handling it. He is one man who address the whole picture and thinks about the long-term consequences of any topic.

    July 10, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Well, the President doesn't believe in a draw down of troops. It's simply not going to matter what his Republican base wants or even proposes about Iraq. He's a stubborn man, and has loss all concept of reality. He doesn't understand that he himself, has become his own worst enemy. It's a sad and pathetic situation that he has put the United States in, and he's not even aware of it........

    July 10, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Pete, T.S. FL

    Maybe he will tell us that “Major Combat Operations are over”, never mind we been there done that!

    America wants to hear:

    We are pulling back and we are pulling out!

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    July 10, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Bob Fort Worth, Texas

    I agree with Shawnie. To pull out now would be a mistake.If Iraq is not stabilized and falls into civil war the country will become a breeding grounds for more terrorist activities than now. I believe we should withdraw totally when Iraq's government / military has the strength to be on it's own; no American bases, no American oil interest, nothing.

    That said I never believed in this war. Iraq was not involved with 9/11, had no WMD's and no involvement with Al Qaeda as purported by our administration. Our administration took advantage of the emotions of the American people after 9/11 to drum up support for this war. There have been no apologies, only arrogant stubbornness, in this drive that has killed over 3,500 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, not to mention the TWELVE BILLION dollars a day spent to keep this war going. For the untruths and the toll on our country and the world Bush and Cheney should be impeached. Impeachment may show the world, especially the middle east and the moderate Muslim population, that we acknowledge our mistake and are trying to resolve it by actually giving Iraq stability and freedom.

    July 10, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Oscar Indio CA

    I was in support of the removal of Saddam Hussein. It was noble war for the people of Iraq, however the president use of the WMD spin to justify an already justifiable conflict was deplorable. How many more countries posses theses weapons, including our selves. I'm sure there are no plans to to invade these other nations.( some of which are our allies and countries like Brazil,China,and even Britain) The Presidents overiding of our proffesional Military Commanders in the planning of the war is the gravest mistake. One that has put our troops and the nation of Iraq in peril. These Commanders had a better pulse on the situation, but Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld felt they were smarter than everybody. Now our brave soilders are ther paying the price for their mistake. The way Halliburton, Kellog Brown, and Black Water(all conected to Cheney) has profited from the whole situation , maybe this was a Corporate War profiteering scheme. Dont send enough troops to begin with, then hand out contracts to your buddies to provide private security. Pretty slick scam if you ask me.

    July 10, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Paul, New Orleans

    It will be a mistake if we pull out? How can anyone believe anything that comes out of the white house. Another thing, THERE WAS A SURGE? The so called surge would have been nice when I went into Iraq.

    July 10, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    There was a SURGE?

    July 10, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Shawnie ... if Romney was handling it, he'd be contradicting himself daily, or he'd all have our soldiers fighting in flip flops!

    Bob in Fort Worth, Texas ... "to pull out now would be a mistake"? So we should keep babysitting Iraqis who refuse to step up and fight for their own damn country while we fund their ignorance with more blank checks? And we should spend a few thousand more American lives on a government that wants to take vacations rather than come up with a political solution to THEIR OWN PROBLEM?

    And what message do you think you're sending he Iraqis when you say "it'll be worse if we leave", "it'll become a breeding ground for terrorists", and "we have to get them there before they come here"? Let me answer that for you since you apparently DON'T get it.

    We're destroying any leverage we have in making THEM do their own dirty work. We're essentially telling them that since we CAN'T AFFORD TO LEAVE, we'll just stay forever and continue doing most of the work for them.

    And you wonder why they don't have any sense of urgency and are woefully short of meeting any benchmarks on THEIR end? Why should they when you're telling them we cant (and wont) leave? What you should be telling them is either get your act together NOW or WE'RE GONE!

    They had over 4 years to step up while WE paid most of the money and OUR troops have done most of the fighting and the dying. Their incredibly long grace period is OVER!

    July 10, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Shawnie ... if Romney was handling it, he'd be contradicting himself daily, or he'd all have our soldiers fighting in flip flops!

    Bob in Fort Worth, Texas ... "to pull out now would be a mistake"? So we should keep babysitting Iraqis who refuse to step up and fight for their own damn country while we fund their ignorance with more blank checks? And we should spend a few thousand more American lives on a government that wants to take vacations rather than come up with a political solution to THEIR OWN PROBLEM?

    And what message do you think you're sending he Iraqis when you say "it'll be worse if we leave", "it'll become a breeding ground for terrorists", and "we have to get them there before they come here"? Let me answer that for you since you apparently DON'T get it.
    We're destroying any leverage we have in making THEM do their own dirty work. We're essentially telling them that since we CAN'T AFFORD TO LEAVE, we'll just stay forever and continue doing most of the work for them.

    And you wonder why they don't have any sense of urgency and are woefully short of meeting any benchmarks on THEIR end? Why should they, when people like you are telling them we cant (and wont) leave?

    What you should be telling them is either get your act together NOW or WE'RE GONE!

    They had over 4 years to step up while WE paid most of the money and OUR troops have done most of the fighting and the DYING. Their incredibly long grace period is OVER!

    July 10, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    “What Congress will get this week is a snapshot of the beginning of the retooling of the mission in Iraq,” Snow said. “Everyone says, ‘We want to do it a different way.’ We agree. It’s just now started.”

    OH Boy OH BOY ! A Snapshot of the Retooling of Iraq! I can hardly wait.
    How Exciting! Yes Yes we want to do it another way, We Agree! Let's Get Started..
    (All now genuflect on one knee, Bush has entered the Building) Please get ready to light the candles of progress and the new beginning of a New World All Please Rise for the American Anthem in Honour of Our Great Leader.

    July 11, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |