WASHINGTON (AP) _ Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, depicted the situation there as ``exceedingly complex and very tough'' Thursday and said the U.S. effort might become more difficult before before it gets easier.
The four-star general called the war there ``the most complex and challenging I have ever seen.''
He said there have been some improvements in the two months since President Bush's troop buildup began, but ``there is vastly more work to be done across the board. ... We are just getting started with the new effort.''
Petreus spoke as the Senate debated House-passed legislation to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in October.
Asked about the impact on the effort in Iraq if that legislation passed, Petraeus said, ``I have tried to stay clear of the political minefields of various legislative proposals.'' Bush has said he will veto the bill.