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Rumsfeld Salutes Troops' Global Efforts

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2006 – America's two million men and women in uniform are meeting demands around the globe, and "are doing a terrific job," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today.

But with 138,000 troops in Iraq and an ongoing need to modernize the force, defense officials "have to continue to find ways to see that the force is not stretched," the secretary said.

"They're in Afghanistan. They're in Iraq," he told reporters at the Pentagon. "They're fighting fires in Washington state and in the West. We just put 6,000-plus National Guard forces on our Southern border. They were involved in the Pakistan earthquake and (Hurricane) Katrina. So there are a great many things that our forces do."

Despite these demands, Rumsfeld said, people continue to join the military and troops continue to remain on duty. "Recruiting and retention are up month after month after month after month meeting their targets," he said.

While no one wants to be in a conflict, Rumsfeld said America's troops are "the best trained, the best led, the best-equipped forces on the face of the Earth in the history of the country, and they're doing a wonderful job for our country."

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