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Rumsfeld Visits U.S. Troops in Kuwait

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, June 9, 2002 – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told U.S. troops serving here that the global war on terrorism may have begun in Afghanistan, but it won't end there.

Rumsfeld is stopping overnight in this Persian Gulf nation to visit American service members at Camp Doha and to meet with high-level Kuwaiti government officials.

Shortly after landing here, Rumsfeld told reporters traveling with him that he is not here to discuss possible action against Iraq, but to visit nations that are friends of the United States. "It's been too long for me as secretary of defense to not have been here," he said.

The secretary will also visit Qatar and Bahrain before heading to India and Pakistan later in the week.

Speaking to about 1,000 troops at Camp Doha, Rumsfeld told them it's been a decade since "the United States and coalition forces came together here in Kuwait to repel Iraqi aggressions and defeat the forces that had done so much damage to this country."

Now the United States has been attacked, and "once again a large global coalition has come together to defeat the individuals, the countries, the people who have visited such destruction on our land," he said.

Roughly 2,000 American troops are stationed at the desert base, part of about 8,000 U.S. service members in this country that borders Iraq. Rumsfeld told them they stand "between freedom and fear, between our people and a dangerous adversary who will not be appeased and will not be ignored and will not be allowed to win."

If Americans are to continue living as free people, Rumsfeld said, "some of our number" have to step forward and defend that freedom. "You are the ones who have stepped forward."

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talks to U.S. troops during a visit to Camp Doha, Kuwait. The stop June 9, 2002, was one of many in a 10-day mission that wraps later in the week with visits to Pakistani and Indian leaders to talk about recent hostilities in Kashmir, a region claimed by both countries. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.  
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