President Works Through Christmas

ByABC News via GMA logo
December 24, 2006, 7:42 AM

Dec. 24, 2006 — -- President Bush left the White House on Friday and will not return until New Year's Day, but that 11-day break is not all rest and relaxation. Much of it will be spent trying to figure out a new strategy for success in Iraq.

At Camp David this weekend, President Bush convened his new war council.

The White House released a photo of the president conferring with his new secretary of defense, Robert Gates, but disclosed nothing about the meeting.

Gates just returned from a whirlwind three-day trip to Iraq where he got an earful about the troop surge the president is contemplating.

Soldiers told Gates they need more boots on the ground. Iraqi leaders said they would not object to additional forces, and even top military commanders who had originally opposed an escalation now agree it is necessary.

These things would seem to clear the way for a surge of up to 30,000 troops, but the White House says the president is still wrestling with the idea.

However, he will take a break from business to celebrate the season with the first family.