WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The White House was in a full court press on the Iraq war Thursday amid continuing anxiety over U.S. presence in the country.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was testifying on Capitol Hill, where the top two U.S. commanders in the Middle East region were continuing to brief lawmakers on the situation in Iraq and U.S. strategy for defeating terrorists, establishing democracy and withdrawing from the country.
"The president believes it's important to keep the American people updated about the progress we are making in the war on terrorism and our strategy for winning the war on terrorism," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "He also believes it's important to continue to talk about the nature of the enemy we're up against, because this is a determined enemy; it is an enemy with a very clear strategy to drive us out of the Middle East and dominate the broader Middle East by creating safe havens for terrorists."
Bush on Wednesday made remarks on the war after a briefing by Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, and Gen. George Casey, in charge of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Bush said the U.S. was successfully adapting to terror group tactics as they changed, and more Iraqi security forces were being trained and becoming operational to challenge terrorists themselves.
McClellan said Bush would give a "significant speech" on the war on terror next month. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would speak on the war at Princeton on Friday, while Vice President Dick Cheney would do the same Monday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Monday.