President Bush has rejected the idea of setting a timetable for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, calling for patience as American forces train Iraqis to provide security in their country.
Mr. Bush on Wednesday outlined his "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" during a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He said any U.S. withdrawal plans will be based on conditions on the ground in Iraq.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, the commander of coalition forces, General George Casey told reporters that the readiness of Iraqi units is assessed monthly.
The president said U.S. forces will change their role in Iraq as needed, depending on what field commanders tell him is necessary to win.
In response to the speech, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers should follow the lead of Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who two weeks ago called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal.
Democratic Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Americans desire a frank appraisal of how the United States is doing in Iraq. And former Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry said Mr. Bush did not address the realities in Iraq.
The president faces increasing political pressure to explain his plan for completing the U.S.-led operations in Iraq.