We won't give up on Iraq, says Bush | india | Hindustan Times
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We won't give up on Iraq, says Bush

The president gives little indication that he intends to veer sharply from the direction his war policies have taken.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 13:30 IST

President George W Bush says the enemy in Iraq is "far from being defeated," but he vows not to be rushed into adjusting his strategy and is giving little indication that he intends to veer sharply from the direction his war policies have taken.

"We're not going to give up. The stakes are too high and the consequences too grave," Bush said after meeting at the Pentagon on Thursday with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld and Rumsfeld's designated successor, Robert Gates.

There are competing schools of thought inside the military and the administration on whether a short-term increase in US troop strength in Iraq, possibly in the range of 20,000, would be enough to quell the sectarian warfare in Baghdad.

After a third straight day of soliciting war advice from top military and diplomatic officials, Bush gave no clue as to whether he will include that in his forthcoming plan.

Some generals believe it would be too little, too late, in a war that already has claimed more than 2,900 US lives and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

Bush said he was considering a wide range of options he has heard during a week of consultations but is rejecting ideas "that would lead to defeat."

He said the rejected ideas included "leaving before the job is done, ideas such as not helping this (Iraqi) government" to function and gain Iraqis' confidence.

"But one thing people have got to understand is we'll be headed toward achieving our objectives," he said.