Rumsfeld Says Iraq May Need a Larger Force -- Start Your Campaign Now!

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon Jul 14 07:38:33 MDT 2003


Dear ANSWER, UFPJ, NION, RJ911, NNEWAI, VFP, & other organizers:

It is crucial for us to get a campaign to Bring the Troops Home Now
and End the Occupation off ground _before_ the Pentagon sends _more_
US troops to Iraq in response to Iraqi resistance.  We have _no time
to lose_.  We can't wait until the fall ANSWER mobilizations on
September 26-28 (with Al-Awda & the UK Stop the War Coalition) &
October 25 (both of which I call on all anti-war/anti-occupation
coalitions & organizations to jointly sponsor).  There are actions we
can take _now_ -- letters, petitions, sit-ins, press conferences, and
so on.  Please call on members of your coalitions and organizations
to take actions _now_.

*****   New York Times   July 14, 2003
Rumsfeld Says Iraq May Need a Larger Force
By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON, July 13 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today
that the United States might need to send additional troops to Iraq
to quell an increasingly well-organized guerrilla resistance, and
warned that more American soldiers would die in attacks this summer.

Mr. Rumsfeld also said for the first time that the attacks against
American troops by remnants of Saddam Hussein's security forces,
fedayeen fighters and Iraqi prisoners released before the war, were
being coordinated at least regionally and possibly nationally.

Mr. Rumsfeld and his top aides had expressed optimism in recent weeks
that American troop levels in Iraq could begin to decline as
additional allied ground forces arrived later this summer and more
newly trained Iraqi police officers took up positions around the
country.

But the increasing frequency and sophistication of the attacks
against American forces and Iraqis helping them have stirred alarm
among American officials and caused commanders and Mr. Rumsfeld to
rethink force levels.

"It seems to me that the numbers of U.S. forces are unlikely to go
up," he said on the NBC News program "Meet the Press." "Now, could
they? You bet. If they're needed, they will be there."

There are 148,000 American and 13,000 non-American troops in Iraq
now, with 17,000 more allied soldiers pledged to arrive over the
summer. Mr. Rumsfeld said 28,000 of the 60,000 Iraqi police officers
needed were now on the job. American occupation leaders also plan to
train a new Iraqi army of 12,000 soldiers within one year, expanding
it to 40,000 within three years.

As recently as Wednesday, in testimony before the Senate Armed
Services Committee, Mr. Rumsfeld had agreed with Gen. Tommy R.
Franks, who recently stepped down as the commander of troops in the
region, that the overall number of foreign troops in Iraq would stay
about where it is for the foreseeable future. At the same time, he
suggested that some troops from other nations would replace United
States soldiers, reducing the American presence somewhat.

"It would be incorrect to say that we expect that international
forces will replace all of U.S. forces," Mr. Rumsfeld said under
intense questioning by senators. "We don't anticipate that."

In his testimony, he also said that if the strains of American
deployments of ground troops around the world forced the Pentagon to
seek to increase the size of the Army and the Marines, "clearly, we
will come to Congress and ask for an increase," adding, "But at the
moment, we do not see that that's the case."

Mr. Rumsfeld is to be briefed this week by military commanders on how
long troops now in Iraq ought to be kept there, and on which units
might leave. They would be replaced by other American forces as part
of a rotation that changes the mixture of troops from those
specialized in intense combat to those better suited for keeping the
uneasy peace and sporadic hostilities.

Today, Mr. Rumsfeld confirmed that American officials were bracing
for a possible new wave of attacks against United States forces
during the next week to coincide with anniversaries tied to Mr.
Hussein and the Baath Party.

The anniversaries include July 14, the date of the 1958 coup against
the British-backed monarchy, which under Mr. Hussein was celebrated
as Iraq's National Day; July 16, the date that Mr. Hussein took power
in 1979; and July 17, the date of the Baath Party revolution in 1968.

"We expect that the summer is not going to be a peaceful summer," Mr.
Rumsfeld said on the ABC News program "This Week," noting the
increased resistance. "It's pretty clear that in a city or an area,
there is coordination. We don't have any good evidence that it's
nationwide or even a large region, but it's possible."

On "Meet the Press," Mr. Rumsfeld warned of more American casualties,
saying: "Are people being shot at? Yes. Is it a difficult situation?
You bet. Are more people going to be killed? I'm afraid that's
true."...

[The full text of the article is available at
<http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/14/international/worldspecial/14TROO.html>.]
*****
--
Yoshie

* Calendars of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>,
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>



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