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Secretary Rumsfeld's Lunch with Soldiers of 1st Armored Division in Iraq

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
September 06, 2003

Rumsfeld:  (In Progress.) -- the Cold War is over and we're not expecting the Soviet Union which doesn't exist any more to launch a major tank war across the north German plain.  So we need to adjust our footprint.  One of the places we're looking at adjusting it is Europe.


There has been speculation in the press as to how that would work out.  I haven't read it all, but I know this much, I know the decisions have not been made.  That each combatant commander in Europe and the Pacific and the Central Command have looked at their regions.  They've come in with preliminary recommendations.  We now are in the process of looking at all of them together.  And at some point then we will have to look at how much it's going to cost to make the changes.  We'd have to then begin the process of negotiating with our allies because we're parts of treaty organizations and alliances, and it's complicated from a political standpoint.  So I think that probably it's safe for people who read speculation in the press to think of it as that -- speculation in the press as opposed to any kinds of decisions.


It's possible that by chance some speculation in the press will prove to be true, but --


Q:  So what you're saying sir right now is that it's still up in the air and it's a long way from here.


Rumsfeld:  You bet your life, it's a long way from decision. We simply have got to take those pieces and integrate them.  Then we would have to phase them.  Then we'd have to negotiate and discuss with our allies and friends.  Then we'd have to phase them.  Then we'd have to go to Congress and get the military construction budgets that are necessary to make those kinds of adjustments.  So it's a very complicated, difficult set of issues.  We're making good progress and when we're through with the process we're going to be better arranged than we were before.  Right now we're living kind of a legacy organization and arrangement rather than something that we thought through carefully and planned for the 21st Century.


Q:  Thank you, sir.


Rumsfeld:  Thank you.


I'm getting the hook.  Thank you.  God bless you all. (Applause.)

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