It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
U.S. Troops Fire Complaints at Rumsfeld
Reuters logo Wednesday, December 08, 2004 1:22 p.m. ET
By Tabassum Zakaria
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under friendly fire Wednesday from troops who took up his invitation to ask tough questions about Iraq.
Hundreds of soldiers applauded a comrade who complained to Rumsfeld that U.S. troops were being forced to dig up scrap metal to protect their vehicles in Iraq because of a shortage of armored transport.
Another soldier asked Rumsfeld what the Pentagon was doing "to address shortages and antiquated equipment that National Guard soldiers ... are going to roll into Iraq with?" The soldier was referring to allegations that regular army units have been given better equipment than reservists.
"Now settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early in the morning. I'm just gathering my thoughts here," the 72-year-old Rumsfeld told the troops.
Another soldier asked Rumsfeld about the army's "stop-loss" policy that has prevented thousands of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from leaving the military when their volunteer service commitment ends.
Another asked him what the plan for U.S. forces was after Iraq's parliamentary elections, scheduled for Jan. 30.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld addresses U.S. military personnel in Kuwait before their scheduled departure for Iraqi combat-zones, December 8, 2004. An American soldier complained to Rumsfeld that troops were being forced to dig up scrap metal to protect their vehicles in Iraq because of a shortage of armored transport. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters