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Japan has begun to withdraw its troops and military hardware from Iraq (file photo) (epa) June 26, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush today said any decision about future troop withdrawals from Iraq will depend on "the situation on the ground."


"In terms of our troop presence there [in Iraq], that decision will be made by [top U.S. commander in Iraq] General Casey, as well as the sovereign government of Iraq, based upon conditions on the ground," Bush said. "And one of the things that General Casey assured me of is that whatever recommendation he makes, it will be aimed toward achieving victory, and that's what we want."


Bush's comment comes after Casey put forward a proposal to cut the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq by more than half by the end of 2007.


White House spokesman Tony Snow said the plan is just one of many ideas under consideration and that Casey's plan is not "carved in stone."


(Reuters, AFP)

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