Speaking at the Air Force Academy graduation Wednesday, President Bush told the packed stadium, the war is difficult and unprecedented, and "we're learning as we go."
He spoke to more than 1,012 graduates, saying that the United States has an obligation to establish stability after ousting its killer regimes.
Bush drew a comparison to U.S. support for the rebuilding of Germany and Japan after World War II -- two "mortal enemies" that have become strong U.S. allies.
"To win the first war of the 21st century we need to prevail, not just in the battle of arms but also in the battle of wills. And we need to recognize that the only way America could lose the war on terror is if we defeat ourselves."
Bush's message to the graduates: "Your teachers are proud of you, your parents are proud of you, and so is your commander-in-chief. Job well done."
The crowd erupted in cheers.
Bush then saluted and shook hands with all 1,012 cadet as they received their degrees.