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U.S. Defense Chief To Urge Boosting Military By 92,000

Rice (left) with Gates at the press conference in Washington today (epa) January 11, 2007 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates today said that he will recommend to President George W. Bush increasing the size of the U.S. military by 92,000 troops over the next five years.

At the same press conference, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the appointment of a retired diplomat, Timothy Carney, to head a new U.S. push to aid economic and political stability in Iraq.

"Among Americans and Iraqis, there is no confusion over one basic fact: It is the Iraqis who are responsible for what kind of country Iraq will be," Rice said today, commenting on Bush's January 10 Iraq policy speech. "It is they who must decide whether Iraq will be characterized by national unity or sectarian conflict. The president has conveyed to the Iraqi leadership that we will support their good decisions but that Americans' patience is limited."

(Sky News, AFP, Reuters)

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