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Rumsfeld Flags U.S. Troop Cutbacks In Iraq --> U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (file photo) (AFP) 9 December 2005 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he expects some 20,000 U.S. troops to return home from Iraq after Iraq’s parliamentary elections on 15 December.

The projected pullout would leave some 137,000 American troops in Iraq. Rumsfeld says that, if conditions permit, there could be further U.S. troop withdrawals.

Rumsfeld made the comment on 8 December during a closed-door meeting with members of the U.S. Congress.

He also dismissed news reports that he plans to step down as defense secretary, saying he has no plans to retire.

Iraqi Legislative Elections 2005

RFE/RL's coverage, background, and analysis of Iraq's December 15, 2005, legislative elections.