President Bush has told an audience of military officers that people who say the war on terror has made America less safe are buying into "the enemy's propaganda."
Mr. Bush made his remarks during an address in Washington Friday to the Reserve Officers Association. The president was responding to political opponents who cited an intelligence document which said, in part, that the fighting in Iraq is creating a new generation of terrorist leaders.
The report also said if terrorists are perceived to have failed in Iraq, fewer people will be inspired to carry on the fight.
The president and opposition Democrats have argued over the meaning of the intelligence document amid rising political tension caused by approaching congressional elections.
The Democrats say the document proves the administration policy in Iraq is a failure.
The national intelligence estimate outlined some vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement, including what it says is popular opposition in the Muslim world to an ultra-conservative interpretation of Sharia law.
But the analysis concludes that factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities, and are likely to do so for some time.