Speaking to U-S soldiers today (Friday) at Fort Hood in Texas, the president said the United States would prefer that Iraq comply voluntarily with U-N resolutions. But Mr. Bush said if force is necessary, the United States will act decisively and prevail.
Iraq has consistently denied that it still possesses any banned weapons or has programs to produce them.
The United States continues to move troops and equipment to the Persian Gulf region in case of war with Iraq. Friday, the Defense Department ordered the deployment of some U-S Marine units based at Camp Pendelton, California, headquarters of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
A Marine spokesmen would not say how many troops would be deployed. The United States is expected to have about 100-thousand military personnel in the Gulf region by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, chief U-N weapons inspector Hans Blix says he has several questions about Iraq's recent weapons declaration that he will raise when he meets with officials in Baghdad later this month. Iraq handed over the 12-thousand page declaration in December.
Speaking to reporters today in New York, Mr. Blix declined to say what the questions were about, or to give any details on what U-N arms inspectors in Iraq have found since resuming their search for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons five weeks ago.
However, Mr. Blix revealed that the inspectors have been taking samples at the suspected weapons sites they visit. He says results from tests on those samples will be part of his report to the U-N Security Council January 27th.