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Bush declares end to major combat

Stopping short of declaring a total end to the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush addressed the nation from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Thursday night after landing on board via a U.S. Navy jet.

"The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror," Bush said. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on."

Although the main points of the president's speech were on the war in Iraq, he did mention the war in Afghanistan.

"In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained," he said. "And as I speak, a special operations task force, led by the 82nd Airborne, is on the trail of terrorists ."

When he returned to talking about the war in Afghanistan, Bush said "we are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools for the people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but is worth every effort. America and the coalition will finish what we have begun."

The president said the war was just one individual part of the much broader war on terrorism.

"From Pakistan to the Phillipines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down al-Qaida killers," he said. "We have removed an ally of al-Qaida and cut off terrorist funding."

"The war is not over, yet it is not endless," he said. "We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve

their caus is lost. Free nations will press on to victory."

Bush spent the night aboard the Lincoln, where he was scheduled to depart the Lincoln this morning for San Diego before continuing on to the Silicon Valley near San Francisco.