HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rumsfeld: US military can handle other threats despite Iraq

The US military could handle another war despite deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.

"I get asked from time to time, if your forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the US military sufficiently stressed or strained that it really couldn't deal or cope with a problem in another part of the world," Rumsfeld told troops at an air force base in Nevada.

"The answer is no, that's not correct. We are capable of dealing with other problems where they occur," he said, answering a question about military options for the nuclear crisis with Iran.

"I feel comfortable ... our country is able to fulfill the responsibilities the American people expect of us and that the president is charged with," he said.

Rumsfeld warned potential enemies that the United States remained ready to take military action to defend its interests.

"It would be unfortunate if other countries thought because we have 136,000 troops in Iraq today that therefore we are not capable of defending our country or doing anything that we might need to do," Rumsfeld said.

The Pentagon has recently extended tours of US troops in Iraq and called up reserve Marines to quell violence in Iraq unleashed after the US-led invasion in 2003. Apart from Iraq, the US also has more than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, and defense analysts say the deployments have put an enormous strain on the military.

"We have a large active force, we have a large reserve force, we have that ready reserve that drills the selective reserve and we have a large number of individual ready reservists who have an obligation that runs to depending on the circumstance for the remainder of their six-year period and we have allies."

Rumsfeld said that 42 countries were working with the US military in Afghanistan and 34 governments were "helping us in Iraq."

He added: "You can't do everything and you can't do everything at once.

"But some of the capabilities that we need the place where we are using most of the capabilities right now are the ground forces in Iraq.

"Our naval forces are certainly not stressed, our air forces are certainly not stressed and those capabilities are available and exist," he said.

Rumsfeld has come under severe criticism from retired US generals and lawmakers who have demanded his resignation for his handling of the war in Iraq, accusing him of dedicating too few soldiers to Iraq.

Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org