Five years since the US-led invasion of Iraq, President George W Bush defended the decision to go to war, calling it the "right decision" and maintaining "this is a fight America can and must win." ( dpa )
In White House-released excerpts of a speech Bush is to deliver later Wednesday at the Pentagon, he reiterated his support for the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power and praised a surge of troops last year that has led to a decrease in violence in Iraq.
"In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network. And the significance of this development cannot be overstated," Bush argued in the excerpts.
He decried critics who call for the withdrawal of US troops and cite the burgeoning costs of the war.
"No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq," Bush said.
Retreating from Iraq would allow the country to sink into "chaos," emboldening terrorists bent on striking the United States, Bush said.