- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is putting off a decision on adding as many as 51,000 troops to the active roster until he sees whether extra soldiers, sailors and airmen can be freed up from nonessential jobs.
The war on terrorism and an increase in troop deployments has prompted the service chiefs to tell Congress the 1.37 million active force should be expanded. The Navy, for example, cites a requirement of 3,000 more sailors to protect the force against terrorist attacks.
But Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz yesterday told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Mr. Rumsfeld wants to analyze the force first.
He said the defense secretary wants to ensure "there aren't some old requirements that we could shed and that we have really looked and scrubbed thoroughly to make sure that we stop doing things that we should have stopped doing a long time ago."
He added: "I think that process is under way right now, and I think each of the services is taking a very hard look at where, in fact, they might reduce some of their personnel requirements, because it's very obvious that there are new ones that have to be added."
Even before the war on terrorism, Mr. Rumsfeld was looking to trim what he considered nonessential missions. He has frequently mentioned the long-standing peacekeeping deployment in the Sinai, between Egypt and Israel. The administration would also like to eventually pull U.S. troops from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mr. Rumsfeld said in an interview last July with The Washington Times that, "I have been looking around the world for any number of opportunities to try to reduce the so-called 'op-tempo,' [I] found a number of places and not surprisingly in almost every case it takes a little time to do it. You don't want to do those precipitously. I'm advised it's best to do them diplomatically."
Besides the Navy's 3,000-sailor need, the Army wants 40,000 more troops; the Air Force 6,000; and the Marine Corps 2,400. It would cost $40,000 to add each enlisted person, in addition to the $10,000 to recruit that person.

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