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Schoomaker Plan Looks at Possible Iraq Deployments

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2006 – Army officials have a plan to maintain the current number of troops in Iraq through 2010, but it is only a plan and has off-ramps for troop reductions along the way, Army officials said today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld tells reporters at an Oct. 11 Pentragon news conference that while the Army must plan for long-term operations in Iraq, the scope of U.S. troop strength over time will be determined by conditions on the ground. Photo by R.D. Ward

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, told reporters this morning that the Army has formed plans to maintain the current level of troops – about 120,000 – in Iraq through 2010. The general stressed this is not a prediction, but a plan.

During a Pentagon news conference, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the Army has the responsibility to look ahead and formulate plans. “That’s what the Army does,” Rumsfeld said.

But, Rumsfeld said, “General Schoomaker and the Army does not set force levels in Iraq. They’re not the ones who determine how many will be there and until what year they’ll be there.”

The combatant commanders – Multinational Force Iraq commander Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and U.S. Central Command chief Army Gen. John Abizaid -- make those recommendations to Rumsfeld and President Bush.

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Donald H. Rumsfeld
Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, USA

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