I respect the chain of command. I know that the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon have some concerns. One is about the Army and Marine Corps and the impact of the war on them. And the second is about other contingencies and the lack of strategic response to those contingencies.
I want Dave to know that I want him to win. That’s the mission. He will have as much force as he needs for as long as he needs it.
When he feels he wants to make further reductions, he should only make those reductions based on the conditions in Iraq that he believes justify those reductions. These two concerns that we are discussing back here in Washington — about contingency operations and the needs of the Army and the Marine Corps — they are not your concerns. They are my concerns.
I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded. I waited over three years for a successful strategy. And I’m not giving up on it prematurely. I am not reducing further unless you are convinced that we should reduce further.
Emphasis mine. That’s post-9/11 leadership right there.