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Rumsfeld, Casey Defend US-Trained Iraqi Security Forces

  • VOA News

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says Iraqi security forces are getting better, not worse. The remark came one day after the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of fighting without US help has dropped from three to one. At a Pentagon news conference on Friday, Mr. Rumsfeld said Iraqi forces are getting bigger, better and more experienced every day. He did not explain General Casey's statement about the decrease in number of battle-ready battalions, which prompted concern Thursday from several senators. Standing beside Mr. Rumsfeld today, General Casey said he would be much more concerned next year at this time if few Iraqi battalions are still considered battle-ready by American officers.
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