Bush said the absence of a northern front reduced the element of surprise against the Saddam regime. The result, he said, was an improvement in Iraqi combat as Saddam moved his forces from north to south.
"Shock and awe said to many people that all we’ve got to do is unleash some might and people will crumble," Bush said in a television interview on Thursday. "And it turns out the fighters were a lot fiercer than we thought. Because, for example, we didn’t come north from Turkey, Saddam Hussein was able to move a lot of special Republican Guard units and fighters from north to south. So the resistance for our troops moving south and north was significant resistance."