ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006
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(Studio: Charles Gibson) Pentagon estimate that the military will need 99 billion dollars for the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq for next year cited.
(Pentagon: Jonathan Karl) The colossal challenges facing President Bush for the war examined; details given of the cost of the war against terror, including the specifics of the Pentagon financial request. [Center for Strategic & International Studies Michele FLOURNOY- comments on the budget requests.] [In Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert GATES - says the commanders have expressed concern, but have called for more troops in specific cases.] The questions about how more troops would be used in Iraq discussed.
(Studio: Charles Gibson) Report introduced.
(White House: Jake Tapper) The grim message from the president about this difficult year in Iraq examined; scenes shown from the annual pre-Christmas press conference. [BUSH - talks about 2006 in Iraq that began with optimism; states it will require additional sacrifices because the enemy is merciless; explains his comments yesterday about success in Iraq; says he wants to gather all the recommendations; notes the most painful aspect of the presidency.]
(Studio: Charles Gibson) Word that US Central Command commander Gen. John Abizaid will retire next March & a "New York Times" report that Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has approved a ruling coalition of Shiites, Sunnis & Kurds that would exclude Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr noted.