US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under tough questioning on Wednesday from troops in northern Kuwait preparing to deploy to Iraq.
In prepared remarks, Mr. Rumsfeld urged the estimated 2,000 troops to discount critics of the war in Iraq.
But in the question and answer period afterward, hundreds of troops cheered when one soldier asked about a shortage of vehicle armor.
The soldier said troops must reinforce their vehicles with scrap metal dug up from local landfills.
Mr. Rumsfeld replied, in his words, "you go to war with the army you have, not the one you might want." He said the Army is pushing manufacturers to produce vehicle armor as fast as possible.
Other questions concerned the equipment given to reserve units, and plans for U.S. forces in Iraq beyond January 30th,when Iraq is scheduled to hold its first free elections.