Bush to Outline Iraq's Responsibilities With Addition of 22,000 Troops

ByABC News
January 9, 2007, 7:44 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2007 — -- The president is expected to announce that the U.S. force in Iraq will be increased by 22,000 troops, and he will explain the clear expectations for victory tonight when he makes his policy speech on Iraq.

The increase is greater than what was previously expected and will include five additional brigades for Baghdad.

Two brigades will be in Iraq within the next 30 days, including one from Kuwait. The additional three will be phased in over several months in Baghdad and al Anbar Province.

According to senior administration officials the cost of the troop increase would be around $5.6 billion. An additional $1.2 billion would finance a rebuilding and jobs programs.

Bush will not call this a "surge" in troops. He will call it an increase, as he requests that additional forces be sent to the region and explains that even successful operations could mean a violent and difficult period for the country. He will say that should not be taken as a measure of success or failure.

During his 20-minute primetime speech, the president will also announce specific goals the Iraqis are expected to meet as additional U.S. forces arrive, involving Iraqi troop preparedness and national reconciliation.

The troops' deployment will not be tied specifically to benchmarks that the Iraqis must meet, but there will be "flexibility" to stop the deployment if the president makes the determination that "the Iraqis completely fall apart on their promises," according to an official.

The official points out that the United States could also accelerate deployment if it is determined that it will be beneficial.

Bush will also discuss his hope that the Iraqis can take over all the provinces in their country by the end of the year. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had previously spoken about having his forces begin to assume control in June.

Bush's goal does not mean that U.S. troops will not be present or that they will draw down. Instead, he hopes the Iraqis can take over the lead in those provinces.

The rules of engagement for American forces may also change. One of the things Bush wants to make very clear during his speech is that U.S. forces will be allowed to go into any area, including Shiite areas such as Sadr City.

That was one of the things that caused the Baghdad plan to fail last time -- the Iraqis would not let the Americans enter Sadr City.

Reuters contributed to this report.