Rumsfeld calls up reservists, dodges questions about deployments

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday ordered more than 5,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve to report to active duty. The reservists are from 29 units in 24 states and the District of Columbia. They are the first troops to be called up after President Bush authorized Rumsfeld to mobilize as many as 50,000 reservists Sept. 14 to assist in the war against terrorism. While news outlets reported U.S. troops were being deployed to the Middle East and the Central Asian states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Rumsfeld declined to discuss the specifics of any troop deployments. In a briefing for reporters at the Defense Department, Rumsfeld said, "I don't think it's helpful." "There is no question that the defense establishment and the State Department are talking to a lot of countries, but it's about a lot of things. We're talking about things like clearances for people to move through countries and do things in different countries. We're talking about all kinds of various other relationships that those countries have to countries that sponsor terrorism or to entities that sponsor terrorism," he said. He added that for diplomatic reasons, it is best for those countries to characterize their relationships and agreements with the Untied States as they see fit. Rumsfeld emphasized that the war on terrorism would be a marathon, not a sprint, and that it would be like none other the United States has known. "If I could do anything, I'd like to disabuse people of trying to draw parallels between previous conflicts and this one," he said. The fight against terrorism will require a broad spectrum of resources, including diplomatic and economic resources, not just military might. "It is very different than embarking on a campaign against a specific country within a specific timeframe for a specific purpose." A list of the Guard and Reserve units ordered to active duty can be found at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2001/0920gr.pdf
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
X CLOSE Don't show again

Like us on Facebook