Bush: Petraeus 'Will Have All The Time He Needs'

President Bush said on Thursday that he will stop troop withdrawals from Iraq after July, following recommendations made this week by Gen. David Petraeus.

"Fifteen months ago, Americans were worried about the prospect of failure in Iraq," said Bush in remarks at the White House. "Today, thanks to the surge, we've renewed and revived the prospect of success."

Bush added that he agreed to go ahead with the removal of five brigades this spring and summer, something his administration had long planned. Responding to Petraeus's call this week for any more troop reductions to be "conditions-based," Bush said "he'll have all the time he needs."

Bush again called on Congress to pass a war spending bill without any timetables for troop withdrawals, and he said the bill should be no greater than $108 million.

He then tied the effort in Iraq to other anti-terrorist operations against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East.

"If we fail [in Iraq], al Qaida would claim a propaganda victory of colossal proportions and they could gain safe havens in Iraq from which to attack the United States, our friends and our allies," Bush said. "Iran would work to fill the vacuum in Iraq... The Taliban in Afghanistan and al Qaeda in Pakistan would grow in confidence and boldness. And violent extremists around the world would draw the same dangerous lesson they did from our retreats in Somalia and Vietnam."

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: The Hill's Mike Soraghan reports that Senate Majority Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Bush's demand that Congress pass the war funding bill he wants.

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