"The total number of security forces is made up of three categories: U.S. forces, coalition forces, and Iraqi security forces. Now, the answer as to how many U.S. forces will be there a year from now depends entirely on what happens in the security situation on the ground, first and foremost. Second, it depends on how fast we're able to build up the Iraqi forces. What's happening is the total number of security forces in that country have been going up steadily. We've come down from 150,- to 130,000 troops. The coalition troops of about 30,000 have stayed about level. And what's changed is the Iraqi troops have come up from zero to 100,000, heading towards over 200,000 next year.
Now, I can't -- I have trouble believing that the security situation in that country will require additional U.S. troops. We'll have to rotate our forces, and take the ones who've been there awhile out, and put additional troops in. But the total number of troops are going up, because the Iraqis are going up. And then, someone says, well, how many will we have? And the answer is I don't know. Nobody knows. And that's a fair answer."
"It could go down?"
"Oh, of course. It's come down. It's come down from 150,- to 130,000. And I suspect it will continue going down. That depends on if the security situation in the country permits it. The president's said he's going to stay there as long as it takes, and not one day longer, and he has said repeatedly we will put in as many U.S. troops as are necessary and no more. And instead of putting additional U.S. troops in, we've been able to build up the Iraqi forces, pass responsibility for security in that country to the Iraqi people, who in the last analysis had the responsibility and the obligation to provide for their own security."