Cheney Visit Marks Invasion of Iraq

BAGHDAD -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, marking five years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq with an overnight stay in the war-torn nation, warned on Monday against large drawdowns of U.S. troops that could jeopardize recent security gains.

Cheney, who stayed on a military base reporters were asked not to reveal for safety reasons, credited reductions in violence to U.S. President George W. Bush's decision to deploy an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq. In deciding whether to draw back more than the 30,000 before he leaves office, Cheney said Bush would weigh whether the U.S. could continue on a track toward political reconciliation and stability in Iraq.

"It would be a mistake now to be so eager to draw down the force that we risk putting the outcome in jeopardy," Cheney said.

Asked whether the progress that's been made on the security front is an indication of more troop withdrawals after July, Cheney answered "No it does not."