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Bush: Casualties sure to increase

By on January 11, 2020

first_imgBut his statements about his new Iraq plan reflected deep concern at the White House that an intense summer of fighting and higher casualties could further undermine support for the war and lead Democrats to take a harder line in future legislative clashes over how to proceed in Iraq. Bush has often warned of the risks of spikes in violence during crucial periods in Iraq, saying that insurgents and terrorists are testing the will of the United States and the Iraqi government to persevere. In this case, he said that while the troop increase might mean more casualties in the short run, it would ultimately lead to a more stable Baghdad, the capital. “Our new strategy is designed to help Iraq’s leaders provide security for their people and get control of their capital, so they can move forward with reconciliation and reconstruction,” Bush said. Bush said he envisions a time when the added troops will have brought violence to a low enough level that he can pursue a scaled-down strategy similar to that recommended by the Iraq Study Group, in which U.S. forces would cede more control to their Iraqi counterparts. WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush warned Thursday that casualties in Iraq could increase over the summer as the United States completes its troop buildup there. On a day when he expressed satisfaction with a deal in Congress that would finance American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan without the schedules for withdrawal from Iraq that Democrats had sought, Bush nonetheless said: “We’re going to expect heavy fighting in the weeks and months. We can expect more American and Iraqi casualties.” He added, “It could be a bloody – it could be a very difficult August.” Bush said the added forces he deployed to Iraq would not be fully in place until mid-June. Officials have said for months that they expected the added numbers to fuel fiercer fighting and resistance into August and beyond, requiring periodic public assurances that things will look worse before they look better. Bush made his comments during a news briefing in the Rose Garden at which he was occasionally combative but mostly good humored, clearly relishing the expected end – for now – of his fight with Congress over war funds. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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