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Iraq Security to Be Boosted Ahead of Poll -Rumsfeld

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Saturday some 40,000 new Iraqi recruits might join the country’s fledgling security forces ahead of January elections. Rumsfeld, who met with defense chiefs from 18 nations aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier in the central Gulf on Saturday, also said it was possible that the Pentagon would also increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq ahead of the polls. But he said the decision rested with Army General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Army General John Abizaid, the top American commander in the region. “The thing that we’ve got going in Iraq that’s very good is the fact that we’ve got a steady, growing number of security forces because the Iraqi security forces have been growing at a good clip,” Rumsfeld told reporters traveling with him on the flight from Washington to Bahrain. Full Story

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