By Jim Garamone
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2006 – Army officials have a plan to maintain the current number of troops in Iraq through 2010, but it is only a plan and has off-ramps for troop reductions along the way, Army officials said today. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, told reporters this morning that the Army has formed plans to maintain the current level of troops - about 120,000 - in Iraq through 2010. The general stressed this is not a prediction, but a plan.
During a Pentagon news conference, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the Army has the responsibility to look ahead and formulate plans. "That's what the Army does," Rumsfeld said.
But, Rumsfeld said, "General Schoomaker and the Army does not set force levels in Iraq. They're not the ones who determine how many will be there and until what year they'll be there."
The combatant commanders - Multinational Force Iraq commander Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and U.S. Central Command chief Army Gen. John Abizaid -- make those recommendations to Rumsfeld and President Bush.