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Rice: Overthrow Of Saddam Hussein Was "a Great Strategic Achievement"

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered a strong defense of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, saying in the long term, it will be viewed as "a great strategic achievement."

Rice, however, admitted that the Bush administration did not put in place the proper framework to manage post-invasion Iraq.

"I still that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is going to turn out to be a great strategic achievement," Rice said on Fox News Sunday. "Not just for the Bush administation, but for the United States of America."

"You know have a young, democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional Iraq that has just signed a historic agreement with the United States establishing a long-term relationship, as well as a Strategic Forces agreement to allow American forces to help them finish the job. That's a trade up. And you know have an Iraq that's at the center of the Middle East, that's a bulwark against Iran, without the trmendous downsides that came with the murderous and aggressive regime of Saddam Hussein."

"I don't think we had the right structure," Rice added when asked about post-invasion planning and her relationship with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"We tried in Iraq to give it to a single department, the Department of Defense. That's why the president has now said we need a civilian response board that can do those activities, but clearly, we didn't have the right structure."

"I take responsiblity too," Rice responded when asked whether that was Rumsfeld's fault. "We just didn't have the right structure.

She also downplayed reports on a rift between her and Rumsfeld during this period. "I talked to Don at least once or twice a day," Rice said.

"I don't know where they come from


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