Rumsfeld: US 'not' occupying force, 'not' there for oil
The number of U.S. troops in Iraq should not be so big that they appear to be an occupying force, despite recent spikes in sectarian violence, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday.
Speaking at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Rumsfeld said the United States has to "keep avoiding filling every vacuum and if we're around that place with too many people we tend to fill every vacuum. And that's not a healthy thing."
He said America needs to have enough military forces there to support the fledgling government and the development of a new political system, but not so many that it will feed the insurgency and make Iraqis think the U.S. is there only for oil.
"You don't want too many people there that you look like an occupying force, that the insurgents and the terrorists are able to lie to people and say you're only there for their oil, that you're there to occupy the country, that you intend to stay there permanently - all of which is false," said Rumsfeld. Read more