President George W Bush on Wednesday said he is inclined to believe that there is a need to permanently increase in the strength of the United States Army and the Marine Corps in Iraq, maintaining that securing a peaceful future required a sustained commitment from the American people and the military.
At the year-end press conference, Bush said that he did not disagree with the notion of lighter armed forces as pushed for by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but that one had to factor in the long term threats of extremists and radicals.
"One of my top priorities during this war is to ensure that our men and women wearing the uniform have everything they need to do their jobs. This war on terror is the calling of a new generation. It is the calling of our generation. Success is essential to securing a future for peace for our children and grandchildren. And securing this peaceful future is going to require a sustained commitment from the American people and our military," he said.
Bush conceded that insurgents in Iraq thwarted US efforts at establishing security and stability throughout the country.
He said that his administration had an obligation to ensure that the military was capable of sustaining the war over the long haul and performing the many tasks that was required.
"I'm inclined to believe that we need to increase in - the permanent size of both the United States Army and the United States Marines. I've asked Secretary (Robert) Gates to determine how such an increase could take place and report back to me as quickly as possible," he said.