Revealing little, after a meeting with top advisers at his Texas ranch, US President George W. Bush has said he is making “good progress” in forming a new Iraq strategy: “It’s important for the American people to understand. Success in Iraq is vital for our own security. If were not succeed in Iraq the enemy… the extremists would have safe haven from which to launch further attacks. They would be emboldened. They would be in a position to threaten the USA. We’re making good progress towards coming up with a plan that we think will help us achieve our objective.” Bush is expected to announce the plans next month.
The American military report of five more soldiers’ deaths on Thursday brought the US death toll since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq close to 3,000. The Pentagon has said it will send some 3,500 troops to Kuwait to serve as a standby force in the region.
Organisers in the US say anti-war demonstrations are planned in 37 states to mark the 3,000th US military death in Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the factional violence, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes.