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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 24, 2007

President Bush Meets with the Joint Chiefs and Combatant Commanders
The Cabinet Room

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Defense

5:06 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: It's my pleasure to welcome Secretary Gates, the Joint Chiefs, and the combatant commanders to the White House. First of all, it's an honor to be in the presence of such fine citizens, men who are doing their duty to protect this country. And we have no more solemn duty than to protect America in this war against extremists and radicals.

I'm looking forward to our discussion about the theaters in which you are representing America. I'm looking forward to discussion about the new way forward in Iraq. I thank you for your service.

I also call upon the Senate to move quickly to confirm Lieutenant General Petraeus as the Commander of the Multinational Forces Iraq, Admiral Fallon as the Commander of Central Command, and General Casey as the Army Chief of Staff. It is important to get these three fine individuals in their posts as soon as possible so that we have continuity as we do our duty to protect the American people.

We'll have a wide-ranging discussion here, and then Laura and I have the high privilege of welcoming you and your spouses to dinner tonight. Welcome, and thank you for coming.

END 5:08 P.M. EST

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