In his radio address Saturday, President Bush said the troops will come home when the Iraqi security forces are fully trained:
Our military strategy is clear: We will train Iraqi security forces so they can defend their freedom and protect their people, and then our troops will return home…
The White House won’t estimate how long that will take. That’s probably because, according to Americans on the ground in Iraq, it will be a very long time. The New York Times reports:
Despite the Bush administration’s insistent optimism, Americans working with the Iraqis in the field believe it could be several years, at least, before the new Iraqi forces will be ready to stand alone against the insurgents.
Remember before the war started, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he doubted the conflict would last six months.