|US President George W. Bush(R) speaks during a meeting with Iraq's Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC.|
President George W. Bush will unveil a new Iraq strategy in early 2007, the White House said, as new polls showed most Americans do not think he can turn the unpopular war around.
"It only makes sense for the president to take whatever time he needs to have confidence in the course he'll put forward to the American people," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
White House officials had hoped that Bush would wrap up high-profile consultations with US diplomats and military officials as well as senior Iraqi government figures in time to showcase his new approach by Christmas.
"That is not going to happen until the new year. We do not know when, so I can't give a date," spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "He decided that, frankly, it's not ready yet."
"He's got some very clear, practical, tactical and other questions," said Snow. "Obviously this is something that he places a premium on getting done quickly, but also getting done well."
The polls followed on the heels of a CBS News poll released Monday that showed opposition to the war in Iraq had even exceeded anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War era.
In that poll, 62 percent of respondents said that sending troops to fight in Iraq was a mistake, while just 34 percent still support the decision.
Fifty-two percent said the situation in Iraq is getting worse, while just eight percent say the situation is getting better. Only 15 percent said that the United States would win in Iraq -- a new low.
Also for the first time, a majority of Americans said that the war had already been lost.
According to the Gallup organization, which conducted the poll for the US television network, not even during the Vietnam conflict did so many Americans oppose the war.
The survey had an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.