A new regime would have become the United States’ responsibility. Conceivably, this could have led the United States into a more or less permanent occupation of a country that could not govern itself, but where the rule of a foreign occupier would be increasingly resented.
Quoted in John Calabrese, The future of Iraq (The Middle East Institute, 1997, ISBN 0916808467, 9780916808464) 
Up for grabs.
Describing the future, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. - Eric Schmitt, "Washington at Work; Ex-Cold Warrior Sees the Future as 'Up for Grabs'" The New York Times, December 23, 1991.
I think one has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism. And that's why it has to be a broad and sustained campaign. It's not going to stop if a few criminals are taken care of.
Dept of Defense News Briefing (September 13, 2001)
There has been a good deal of comment — some of it quite outlandish — about what our postwar requirements might be in Iraq. Some of the higher end predictions we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army — hard to imagine.
House Budget Committee testimony on Iraq (February 27, 2003)
I can't imagine anyone here wanting to spend another $30 billion to be there for another 12 years.
House subcommittee on Iraq testimony (February 28, 2003)
I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. Those who want to come and help are welcome. Those who come to interfere and destroy are not.(2003)
...the importance of leadership and what it consists of: not lecturing and posturing and demanding, but demonstrating that your friends will be protected and taken care of, that your enemies will be punished, and that those who refuse to support you will regret having done so. 
There's a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.
Congressional Testimony, March 27, 2003
There's definitely a rule in the Convention against humiliating prisoners and I'd have to see exactly the interview to see whether that in itself violated the Convention, but the Convention is very clear that prisoners have got to be treated properly. We are treating the Iraqi prisoners extremely well. In fact I think they get good food and shelter and they're free from the horrible commanders they used to work for. I think most of them are much happier, frankly.
Sunday March 23, 2003
We know that in Basra and in the other cities the people do not want to repeat the experience of 12 years ago where they rise up against Saddam and then they're slaughtered. But before we take care of the killers that are left behind in those cities, we've got to take care of the regime. It's almost like cutting off the head of the snake and then the rest of the body will go.
This word 'imminent' keeps coming up. The President never said that there was an imminent threat. --February 6, 2004 on the Roger Hedgecock Show
Firing employees, that's unfortunately a part of doing business.(2006)