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Bush Certain of Outcome, But Not Duration of War - 2003-03-25

U.S. President George W. Bush says coalition forces in Iraq are on a steady advance, but he can not predict when the fighting will be over.

Standing in front of a display of military service flags and flanked by top Pentagon officials, President Bush said while it is not possible to know the duration of the war with Iraq, the outcome is certain.

Mr. Bush said the Iraqi people will be free and the world will be more secure and peaceful.

The president praised coalition forces, saying their march toward Baghdad is going well.

"Our coalition is on a steady advance," President Bush said. "We are making good progress. We are fighting an enemy that knows no rules of law. That will wear civilian uniforms. That is willing to kill to continue the reign of fear of Saddam Hussein. But we are fighting them with bravery and courage."

President Bush said there is no doubt the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein will end and the government will be disarmed. He said soldiers and their families are showing their willingness to make great sacrifices to win the war.

"The people of our military and their families are showing great courage and some have suffered great loss," he said. "America is grateful to all those who have sacrificed in our cause. Our coalition is strong. It is bound together by the principle of protecting not only this nation but all nations from a brutal regime that is armed with weapons that could kill thousands of innocent people."

The president visited the Pentagon to unveil a request for Congress to approve $74.7 billion to pay for the Iraqi conflict and the global war on terrorism

Most of the money will pay for military operations such as transporting troops and equipment, replacing high-tech weaponry and fuel for aircraft, ships and tanks.

President Bush urged Congress to act quickly, saying the war-time supplemental budget is directly related to winning the war to securing the peace that will follow the conflict.