Bush: Americans want a new strategy

But they'll have to wait until he does a little more absorbin'.

By Tim Grieve
Published December 7, 2006 6:03PM (EST)

At a joint press conference with Tony Blair today, George W. Bush acknowledged that "the American people expect us to come up with a new strategy" for Iraq. That's a step, of course: While the president has been claiming for months that he's constantly adjusting the "tactics" in Iraq, he has also been insisting that he's already got the right "strategy for victory" there.

"I believe that the military strategy we have is going to work," Bush said at a press conference on Oct. 25.

Now that he understands that the existing strategy isn't working -- or at least that it's not working "as fast as we wanted" -- Bush says that it "makes sense to devise a set of tactics and strategies to achieve the objective that I have stated."

But it's not like there's any hurry or anything. The president said he'll make decisions about the way forward in Iraq "after I get the reports" -- a reference, it seems, to studies being prepared now by the State Department, the Pentagon and the National Security Council. When will Bush know enough to start making decisions? "I think you're probably going to have to pay attention to my speech coming up here when I get all the recommendations," he said.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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George W. Bush Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room