President Bush and members of his administration are defending his plan to send more than 20-thousand additional troops to Iraq. But they warn results will not be immediate.
Mr. Bush visited troops at Fort Benning in the southern U.S. state of Georgia Thursday to discuss his plan to end sectarian violence in Iraq.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified about the plan before the House Armed Services Committee. He stressed that Iraq will have to deliver more troops to Baghdad and limit political interference in military operations.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also testified on Thursday. She told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iraqis must take responsibility for building security.
Public support for the war has been dropping, and leaders in the Democrat-controlled Congress have sharply criticized Mr. Bush's plan to deploy additional U.S. troops.
Some members of the president's own Republican Party also have indicated their opposition to the administration's strategy.
Democratic Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware described Mr. Bush's strategy as "a tragic mistake." Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
During Thursday's hearings, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said he opposes Mr. Bush's plan. Hagel called it, in his words, "the most serious foreign policy blunder since Vietnam."