President Bush has praised U.S. troops this Christmas season. VOA's Sean Maroney reports from Washington.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush thanked U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families for their sacrifices. "This Christmas, many will sit down for dinner thinking of their loved ones half a world away. These families deserve the thanks and the prayers of our whole nation," he said.

The president also gave special thanks to military families who work in various ways to support the troops, even after losing loved ones.

In the Democrats' radio address, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed frustration at where he says the United States is headed. "We took steps to secure our country from terrorism, but bin Laden remains free, al-Qaida is growing stronger and the president's focus on Iraq has allowed conditions in Afghanistan to deteriorate," he said.

U.S., NATO and Afghan forces have faced a dramatic spike in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan during the past two years. But on the war in Iraq, U.S. officials say American combat brigades could be reduced by half, if current security gains allow for the drawdown to continue at its current pace.