Bush Meets With Defense Officials

8-23-04 - CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) President Bush has summoned his defense team to his Central Texas ranch Monday to map strategy on Iraq.

Besides Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers, the president is being joined by Vice President Dick Cheney. Top commanders in Iraq will join via secure video hookup.

The session comes as the US death toll in Iraq moves steadily upward toward the 1,000 mark and as the Pentagon gears up for another big troop rotation later this year.

The meeting is the only public one for Bush during his week-long stay at his Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas. Besides rest and ranch work, he's preparing for next week's GOP convention in New York and the fall campaign stretch drive that follows immediately.