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Bush asserts US did not rush invasion of Iraq

WASHINGTON -- The United States did not rush the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said yesterday as he marked the 60th anniversary of the Allied landing in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

"There was a great military victory going into Baghdad. . . . It was well planned and well thought out," Bush said in an NBC News interview responding to a question about planning for D-day and criticism that the United States did not prepare as carefully before going into Baghdad.

Although Bush conceded that "the enemy didn't lay down its arms like we had hoped," he took issue with suggestions that the US-led coalition in Iraq had rushed preparations for the war and postwar period. "If you're looking for parallels in World War II, it took about four years to get an active reconstruction effort going" in the aftermath of the war, Bush said.

Asked whether he expected that there would be fewer US troops in Iraq in six months or more, Bush said he was not going to "pick a timetable" for the crucial mission of training a capable Iraqi military force.

Asked whether the United States would need to reinstate the military draft that was in effect during World War II, Bush replied, "No."

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