Bush halts Iraq troop cuts but shortens tours
He will leave the Iraq war as his legacy to his successor when he does step down.
President George W. Bush said on Thursday he would suspend U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer but cut the length of tours of duty, as he defended his war policy that will leave any resolution of the conflict to his successor.
Bush endorsed a recommendation by his commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, to complete a limited withdrawal of combat forces by July but then impose a 45-day freeze on the total number of troops at about 140,000 to assess the security situation before considering more cuts.
"I've told him he'll have all the time he needs," Bush said.
Petraeus had told a contentious congressional debate on the costly and unpopular war this week that progress was "fragile and reversible" and a renewed outbreak of violence had killed 20 U.S. troops so far in April.