Remarks Following a Meeting With Military and Diplomatic Leaders
It's been my honor to host former Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Defense from Republican administrations and Democratic administrations here at the White House. I've asked Secretary Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld and Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey to bring these men and women up to date on our strategy for victory in Iraq.
I've also had a chance to listen to their concerns, their suggestions about the way forward. Not everybody around this table agree with my decision to go into Iraq, and I fully understand that. But these are good, solid Americans who understand that we've got to succeed now that we're there. And I'm most grateful for the suggestions that have been given. We take to heart the advice. We appreciate your experience, and we appreciate you taking time out of your day.
We have a dual-track strategy for victory. On the one hand, we will work to have a political process that says to all Iraqis, "The future belongs to you." And on the other hand, we'll continue to work on the security situation there. The main thrust of our success will be when the Iraqis are able to take the fight to the enemy that wants to stop their democracy, and we're making darn good progress along those lines.
Again, I want to thank you all for coming. I appreciate your interests. I appreciate you being such a solid citizen of our country.
NOTE: The President spoke at 10:31 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., USA, commanding general, Multi-National Force—Iraq. Participating in the meeting were former Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell, Madeleine K. Albright, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, James A. Baker III, George P. Shultz, and Alexander M. Haig, Jr.; and former Secretaries of Defense William S. Cohen, William J. Perry, Frank C. Carlucci, Harold Brown, James R. Schlesinger, Melvin R. Laird, and Robert S. McNamara.
George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting With Military and Diplomatic Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/214459