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Gen. Eric Shinseki from 02.25.03

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Published on Dec 7, 2008

On February 25, 2003, four months before the end of his term as Chief of Staff of the Army, Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he thought an occupying force of several hundred thousand men would be needed to stabilize postwar Iraq. He was pressed to provide a range by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). Below is an excerpt from the exchange: SEN. LEVIN: General Shinseki, could you give us some idea as to the magnitude of the Army's force requirement for an occupation of Iraq following a successful completion of the war? GEN. SHINSEKI: In specific numbers, I would have to rely on combatant commanders' exact requirements. But I think -- SEN. LEVIN: How about a range? GEN. SHINSEKI: I would say that what's been mobilized to this point -- something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We're talking about posthostilities control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant, with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so it takes a significant ground-force presence.

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