Q So those 3,000-plus lives have not died in vain?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, sir. Larry, you worry about every single casualty and --
Q Do you feel the burden of it?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Absolutely, when you're in one of those positions the President obviously has the biggest burden. I shared some of that when I was Secretary of Defense, during Desert Storm. There are times when you make decisions to commit military forces, when you know that one of the results of that is going to be that there are going to be American casualties, that American soldiers are going to die. It's one of the most difficult things anybody has to do. It goes with being President of the United States, and we have to have somebody prepared to make those decisions. And I firmly believe, Larry, that the decisions we've made with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan have been absolutely the sound ones in terms of the overall strategy.
Q Although there were mistakes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure. Yes, there are always things in war that happen that nobody anticipated; surprises, things that don't go exactly as planned. That's the nature of warfare. But that doesn't mean the strategy isn't the correct strategy, that the objective isn't the right objective.
Q Does it pain you when Brent Scowcroft says, "This is not the Dick Cheney I knew"?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well --
Q I mean, you were close friends.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Sure, and I don't bear any grudges towards Brent. Brent doesn't walk in my shoes these days. He's not in the job I'm in. He's not responsible for making the decisions the President has had to make and those of us who support him and advise him.