"He (President Bush) made what I would describe as a cold, calculation of national security," he told reporters from NATO countries earlier this week.
The U.S. State Department released the transcript of the interview Friday.
When asked if the war had created a haven for terrorists in Iraq, Armitage replied: "No."
The No. 2 U.S. diplomat reiterated the administration's view that elections in Iraq, scheduled for January, should be held all over the country despite the fragile security situation.
Armitage added despite the violence most people were happy to be rid of Saddam Hussein, adding the security situation had to be improved so "they can be rid of us and be free of foreign presence."
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]