An American general has said withdrawing US forces from Iraq now would be a giant step backward.
Maj Gen Rick Lynch, who heads a division in central Iraq, said security gains would be lost if the advice of a veteran Republican senator was heeded.
On Thursday, Senator Warner said the departure of 5,000 troops by December would send a strong message that US commitment to Iraq was not open-ended.
A US military progress report on Iraq is due in mid-September.
Gen Lynch warned that early withdrawal would compromise security improvements south of Baghdad and allow the "enemy" to come back, with grim consequences.
"He'd start building the bombs again, and he'd start attacking the locals again, and he'd start exporting that violence into Baghdad, and we would take a giant step backwards," he said.
His warning came a day after Mr Warner called on Mr Bush to establish a timetable for withdrawal.
"We simply cannot, as a nation, stand and put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action which will get everybody's attention," Mr Warner said on Thursday.
"I say to the president, respectfully, pick whatever number you wish."
A progress report is due before Congress in mid-September from Gen David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, on the effectiveness of the recent surge in US troop numbers in tackling the violence there.
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In: Iraq, News, Middle East
Tags: Iraq, coalition, allies, Iraqi, IP, IA, war, militias, insurgents, alqaeda, Surge, progress, Withdrawal, step, back
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