White House officials say President Bush intends to announce plans to send 21-thousand additional U.S. troops to Iraq.
A senior administration official told reporters today that the president will lay out his plans for Iraq during a nationally televised address on Wednesday night.
Mr. Bush is expected to say the purpose of the additional troops is to decrease the level of violence in the Iraqi capital and broaden the support for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The official said Mr. Bush also will speak of the consequences of failure in Iraq and how Iraq's experiment in democracy is part of a broader struggle between moderates and extremists in the Middle East.
The newly-elected Democratic majority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate is expressing opposition to any increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on Wednesday criticized the advance details of Mr. Bush's plan. Schumer said without a change of strategy in Iraq, simply sending in more troops will not work.
The senator from New York said his party will introduce a resolution next week to gauge the level of support among lawmakers for any increase in troop levels.
Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of the northeastern state of Massachusetts has proposed legislation that would force the president to seek congressional approval before sending more troops. On Tuesday, Kennedy said an escalation in Iraq will needlessly endanger U.S. forces by injecting more of them into a civil war.
Republican Senator John McCain supports the idea of sending in additional troops. The likely 2008 presidential candidate says the increase in forces will give the Iraqi government a fighting chance to pursue reconciliation.