Pres. Bush orders halt in troop withdrawal

WASHINGTON Bush's decisions virtually guarantees a major U.S. presence in Iraq throughout his term in office in January, when a new president takes office.

In another major decision, the president announced he will seek to relieve the heavy strain on the Army by reducing the length of combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to 12 months, down from the current level of 15 months. He said the change would take effect on Aug. 1, and would affect U.S. forces already deployed on the front lines.

Bush said U.S. force have made major gains since he ordered a buildup of about 30,000 U.S. forces. "We have renewed and revived the prospect of success" the president said.

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