Hadley said on CBS' "Face the Nation" the military version of reconciliation is needed to give Iraqi lawmakers time to reach political unity.
"What we've found is when you go forward and challenge al-Qaida in areas like Anbar Province and Diyala, Sunni tribes are now getting into the fight against al-Qaida, taking control of their localities, setting up local political institutions that can provide security and effective governance," he said. "That's what we call bottom-up reconciliation."
Hadley admitted the Bush administration has had limited success getting the Iraqi lawmakers to put in more time. So far, the best it's been able to do is get the lawmakers to agree to work six days a week until they go on vacation.
"I think the important thing is look, we have been pushing on them," he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., called on President George W. Bush to embrace a bipartisan approach that would aim at transitioning the U.S. role from fighting the war to training Iraqis to defend themselves.