Bush discussed Iraq Tuesday in a town hall event in Cleveland.
CLEVELAND (CNN) - President Bush urged Congress on Tuesday to wait for a September report by top U.S. officials before making any decisions about the war in Iraq, saying the U.S.-led push to pacify Baghdad "just started."
"They just showed up, and they're now beginning operations in full," Bush told participants in a town hall-style event in Cleveland. "And in Washington you've got people saying, 'Stop.'"
Bush ordered nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq in January as part of a campaign to quell the country's sectarian warfare. But the Pentagon is slated to deliver an interim report this week showing Iraq has made little progress in meeting political benchmarks, and Republicans in Congress have begun to call for a change in U.S. strategy in the 4-year-old war.
The U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are slated to deliver a more extensive report on the progress of the campaign in the fall.
"I believe that it's in this nation's interest to give the commander a chance to fully implement his operations, and I believe Congress ought to wait for General Petraeus to come back and give his assessment of the strategy that he's putting in place before they make any decisions," Bush said. "That's what the American people expect."