Thursday, November 14, 2002
Question: Mr. Secretary. Hundreds of people have been awakened with dreams of a war with Iraq quickly escalating into World War III. What can effectively be done to limit the conflict, and what is your opinion about the possibility of a wider war breaking out?
Rumsfeld: In the event that force has to be used with Iraq, there will be no World War III. The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that. And, it won't be a World War III. And if I were to characterize the difference between 1990 and today, the United States military is vastly more powerful. And the Iraqi Army and military capability has declined substantially. The difference is, the reason for needing to disarm Iraq, and that is chemical and biological weapons today, and a very robust effort to develop nuclear weapons tomorrow. And, that is the difference between today and then.
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STILL OPTIMISTIC- 3 Years Later
The president spoke yesterday about the war on Iraq without uttering the word "war". Now it's a "strategy". "We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq."
The president of vice said he had no regrets predicting that the US would be greeted as liberators days before the attack on Iraq. Cheney also denied that Iraq was in the throes of a civil war. "What we've seen is a serious effort by them to foment a civil war," Cheney said. "But I don't think they've been successful."