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We Are at a Critical Moment in History

Iraq And The Middle East

Thank you. Mr. President, I am deeply honored by the trust you have placed in me. You have asked for my candor and my honest counsel at this critical moment in our nation's history, and you will get both.

Mr. Vice President, thank you for administering the oath of office. I first worked closely with the Vice President when he was a very successful Secretary of Defense, and I hope some of that may rub off.

My sincere thanks to the members of the United States Congress who are here today. I appreciate the prompt and fair hearing that I received in the Senate and the confidence that senators have placed in me.

Chairman Pace, thank you. I look forward to working with you and the Joint staff.

To the service chiefs and the service staffs, to all the uniform military here today, I value your professionalism and your experience, and I will rely on your clear-eyed advice in the weeks and months ahead.

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