6,320. 3/16/2005

President George W. Bush’s response to the observation that countries have begun to remove themselves from the situation in Iraq: “So I think what you’re going to find is that countries will be willing — anxious to get out when Iraqis have got the capacity to defend themselves. And that’s the position of the United States. Our troops will come home when Iraq is capable of defending herself. And that’s generally what I find to be the case, Terry, when I’ve talked to other allies on this issue. And we’re making progress. I’ve talked to General Casey quite frequently. And he keeps us abreast of the progress being made. One of the things — one of the issues in terms of Iraqi troops being able to defend their country is the ability to stand up chains of command. I think I’ve shared this with you before, and it’s still an issue that they’re working on. There’s officer training schools, plus the ability for a command to go from a civilian government to a military chain of command, down to the lower ranks of troops. And there’s positive signs that have taken place in the development of the Iraqi security forces, and there’s still work to be done. Our allies understand that.”

 – Transcript, “President’s Press Conference,” George W. Bush – White House Archives online, Accessed on 9/1/2016

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