CBSN

Bush Speech To Cover Iraq, Terror

President Bush aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln
CBS
President Bush wants billions of dollars more to pay for U.S. troops in Iraq and rebuilding the country, and congressional aides say the figure could top $80 billion in the upcoming budget year.

"It's going to cost more, and there will be continued sacrifice on the part of our young men and women," Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday. "Hopefully, in the very near future we'll get control of the security situation," he told CBS' "Face the Nation."

Mr. Bush was discussing Iraq and the terrorism fight in a nationally televised address from the White House on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EDT. CBS News will have live coverage of the president's speech.

Officials say no major development motivated the president's decision to give the speech, CBS News Correspondent Peter Maer reports, but congressional and voter concern over continuing casualties and the growing cost of the war are seen as driving factors for the address.

The last time Mr. Bush addressed the nation from the White House was on March 19 when military operations began in Iraq. His last national speech was May 1, when he landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

Since then, the postwar U.S. death toll has climbed past the number killed in major combat.

With those concerns in mind, the president will make the case that progress is being made in Iraq, CBS News' Correspondent Mark Knoller reports. Mr. Bush will reach out to the United Nations and again concede America needs the help of additional foreign troops.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said the president believes the "cost of freedom and the cost of peace cannot be measured and that it is important that we put adequate resources to this task."

Mr. Bush is talking with lawmakers about what is needed and working on ways to increase the participation of Iraqis and other nations in stabilizing and reconstructing Iraq, Rice said in a broadcast interview.

"The key here is we must remain resolute," she said.

"There's a reason that foreign fighters are coming into Iraq. There is a reason that we're seeing evidence — not really yet completely clear evidence — of terrorists trying to operate in Iraq," Rice said. "They know that this is the central battle in the war on terrorism."

Powell said the Bush administration is concerned that members of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups may be heading toward Iraq. "I'm not sure how large these numbers are, how significant the threat is, but we will deal with it in Iraq," Powell said in a televised interview.

Rice declined to offer specifics on how much money would be needed. Congressional aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they would not be surprised if the amount the president requests is higher than the $60 billion to $80 billion figure that has been reported for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

"I think it could be bigger than $80 billion," said a congressional aide, who is familiar with the president's work in refining how much to request from Congress. "I think the expectation is that it's going to be a very, very big number."

A second congressional aide said: "I'm thinking we're in the $70 billion to $80 billion range and I would lean to the higher end of that."

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Congress will approve the money needed to support U.S. troops, but lawmakers want the president to tell them what his "exit strategy" is from Iraq.

Defense Department officials have said U.S. operations are costing about $3.9 billion monthly. That figure excludes indirect expenses such as replacing damaged equipment and munitions expended in combat.

Levin said lawmakers are being told that it will cost $4.5 billion a month for the military — plus reconstruction expenses.

"What we're going to need from this president — what we haven't had so far — is straightforward, straight-from-the-shoulder discussion about how long we're going to be there ... how many troops we're going to have to keep there, for how long and what the costs are going to be," Levin said during a broadcast interview.

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he expects $100 billion will be needed in Iraq during the next 12 months.

Powell dismissed critics who have compared the situation in Iraq to the prolonged conflict in Vietnam. "It's not happening again," Powell said.

"If we can get Iraqis trained and equipped quickly to start doing these guard functions and to go to places that are relatively stable and keep them stable, then that's what we should do, and not send more U.S. troops to stand around in these places," Powell said.

Facing opposition from France and Germany, the United States has offered to revise a U.N. resolution aimed at getting more peacekeeping troops into Iraq.

"The resolution that the United States will be working with our Security Council colleagues ... will give a broader mandate for international community to come together," Powell said.

"It talks about a multinational force. It talks about a political process to return sovereignty to the Iraqi people. You can't do it overnight," the secretary said.

He said the new resolution could result in other nations sending 10,000 to 15,000 more troops to Iraq.

"There are a lot of demands on the international community — in the Congo, in Liberia, in Bosnia, Kosovo, many other places," Powell said. "What we're really interested in this resolution, though, is to get the international community to come together and participate in the political reconstruction of Iraq."

Levin chided the administration for not acting more quickly to garner international support sooner.

"It's incomprehensible why the administration has not been willing to go until now to the United Nations to get that mandate, which those Muslim nations and other nations say are necessary in order for them to send troops in," the senator said.