President George W Bush has said he would "not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq, saying that in a round of consultations he heard both some interesting ideas and some "ideas that would lead to defeat."
"And I reject those ideas," Bush said after meeting with top generals and Defense Department officials at the Pentagon on Wednesday. He said those ideas included "leaving before the job is done, ideas such as not helping this (Iraqi) government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job".
Bush spoke with reporters after wrapping up a round of high-level talks on revising his Iraq war policy. Earlier he spoke by telephone with two Kurdish leaders in Iraq as part of what the White House called efforts to forge a "moderate bloc" behind the shaky central government in Baghdad.
Standing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bush said they he and the top US military commanders had "a very candid and fruitful discussion about how to secure this country and about how to win a war that we now find ourselves in."
And while using the word "win," Bush also made it clear that "there has been a lot of violence in Iraq. The violence has been horrific".
Although the White House had initially suggested that Bush would deliver his Iraq speech before the December 25 Christmas holiday, he decided to delay it until early next year.
Defending that decision, Bush said, "I will not be rushed into making a difficult decision."