July 15, 2008

U.S. Fighting War on Two Fronts, Bush Says

President George Bush said the United States is fighting a war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan and has the patience and determination to succeed in both.

Is this a war or is this like law enforcement? Bush asked rhetorically during a White House news conference Tuesday, saying he decided making full use of U.S. assets to protect the American people was important for the country's future.

We've got to succeed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

Successes can be reported from Iraq, where troops are being rotated out, he said.

Afghanistan is a tough fight, Bush conceded. "It's a tough enemy. Brutal. And they kill a the drop of a hat to affect behaviors.

The United States has increased the number of military troops in Afghanistan, Bush said, adding that he and his advisers will analyze the ground situation before determining future troop strength.

Asked about what advice he'd offer Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, on his trip to Iraq, Bush said, I would ask Sen. Obama to listen carefully to (U.S. Ambassador) Ryan Crockett and (U.S. Army Gen.) Dave Petraeus.

There's a temptation to let politics at home get in the way of the considered judgment of the commanders in Iraq, he said. That is why I reject an arbitrary time for withdrawing U.S. forces."