President Bush on Monday will outline what the White House is calling a clear strategy for Iraq, in a speech less than six weeks before the scheduled handover of sovereignty to an interim government in Baghdad.
At the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, President Bush will outline his administration's plans for Iraq, as the Coalition Provisional Authority prepares to transfer sovereignty on June 30.
White House spokesman Trent Duffy told reporters on board Air Force One, the Bush administration is approaching a pivotal phase in Iraq.
He says Mr. Bush will address a number of topics, including the handover of power, security, the latest on the diplomatic front and reconstruction efforts in what he called the context of keeping Iraq on a path of progress to democracy.
While the speech will be given at 8:00 p.m., Mr. Duffy says, the White House has not asked the major American television networks to interrupt their prime time broadcasts to cover the speech live.
Cable news networks are expected to carry the address to an American and global audience.
In a commencement address Friday at Louisiana State University, President Bush said the United States would not be intimidated by attacks on Americans.
"We live in historic times, when the will and character of America are being tested," Mr. Bush said. "We're at war with enemies that have many destructive ambitions, and one overriding goal: They want to spread their ideology of hatred by forcing America to retreat from the world, in weakness and fear. Yet, they're finding that Americans are not the running kind. When this country makes a commitment, we see it through."
Mr. Bush renewed his pledge to stay the course in Iraq, but made no specific mention of the recent upsurge in violence or a growing prisoner abuse scandal that have pushed the president's approval ratings to new lows.
"We have an historic opportunity, the establishment of a peaceful and democratic Iraq at the heart of the Middle East, which will remove a danger, strike a blow against terrorists, and make America and the world more secure," the president said. "We will complete the mission for which so many have served and sacrificed. And the world can be certain we will defend the freedom and security of this nation, whatever it takes."
On Monday night, and in speeches in the coming weeks, President Bush is expected to discuss in detail the transition of power in Iraq.
At the United Nations in New York, the United States and Britain are currently drafting a new resolution to provide international backing for the new government in Baghdad.