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Bush Takes Different Tack on Iraq, Troop Levels

President Bush says he is ready to increase the size of the U.S. military at a White House news conference where he discussed the situation in Iraq. The president said the year has been "a difficult year for our troops and the Iraqi people."

Mr. Bush would not discuss any specifics of what he'll announce when he delivers a speech on a revised Iraq policy promised for January. But he acknowledged that success has not come at the rate he had hoped for.

Still, the president said that he believes the United States will win in Iraq, even as polls show public support for his handling of the war at new lows.

President Bush provided few details of the U.S. strategy for the coming year. "I'm not going to make predictions about what 2007 will look like in Iraq," he said, "except that it's going to require difficult choices and additional sacrifices, because the enemy is merciless and violent."

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You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.