President Bush says progress is being made in training Iraqi police and securing the country, but more sacrifice and tough fighting is expected this year.
In Washington Tuesday, Mr. Bush told an audience of American war veterans the United States will focus on democracy, security and reconstruction in Iraq in 2006.
He also said reports that Iraqi police are committing abuses is "unacceptable." He said Iraqis are optimistic about their future, and their optimism is justified. Mr. Bush said that as Iraqi forces increasingly take control of security, American troop levels will be adjusted - but their withdrawal will not be set by artificial timetables.
He said insurgents are suffering major defeats and are being increasingly marginalized.
Mr. Bush also gave a series of speeches late last year aimed at restoring public confidence in his Iraq policy after public support dropped due to ongoing violence and instability.