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President Bush speaks at the White House on December 6 (epa)
December 9, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has reaffirmed his opposition to a "precipitous" U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Bush, in his weekly radio address, said he was "encouraged" by a report issued on December 6 by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which cautioned against a quick retreat from the country.
Bush said such a withdrawal could have serious regional and global effects.
"I was also encouraged that the Iraq Study Group was clear about the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq," Bush said. "The group declared that such a withdrawal would, quote, 'almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and lead to a significant power vacuum, greater human suffering, regional destabilization, and a threat to the global economy.'"
The group, which called for a radical change of strategy in Iraq, suggested pulling out combat units from Iraq by early 2008.
The White House indicated on December 8 that Bush will work on a new approach to Iraq in meetings with top advisers next week, and could announce the strategy before Christmas.