President Bush appealed directly to the American people last night to support a renewed campaign to pacify Iraq, saying it is necessary to add new troops so that the beleaguered Iraqi government can regain control of the streets of Baghdad and revive the process of political reconciliation and economic rebuilding.
In a nationally televised address, Bush acknowledged for the first time that he had not sent enough troops to provide security in Iraq last year. Standing in the library of the White House, he described the situation in Iraq as "unacceptable" to the American people and to himself. "Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do," he said. "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."
Bush said he will order more than 20,000 soldiers and Marines to help the Iraqi government provide security in Baghdad and fight the Sunni insurgency in Anbar province.
In some of his sharpest language to date, the president placed the responsibility of improving conditions squarely on the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has not delivered on an array of promised reforms and security measures.
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