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Rumsfeld still not sure on troop cuts

Rumsfeld will outline defense plans on Thursday
Rumsfeld will outline defense plans on Thursday  

By Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's final guidance to the armed forces on the transformation of the U.S. military won't contain specific numbers for troop levels or weapons, and it remains uncertain whether there will be any cuts, Pentagon officials said.

Rumsfeld is scheduled to brief reporters on the plans Thursday.

Pentagon officials said he will outline the strategy and capabilities that he wants the military to be able to carry out, along with budget limits, and it will then be up to the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to decide if that will require cuts.

Among the ideas discussed during the preparation of the so-called "defense planning guidance" is eliminating some Army troops, Navy aircraft carriers and Air Force planes.

What is clear is that Rumsfeld has discarded the "two-war" yardstick that for most of the 1990s was the stated goal of the U.S. military -- to be able to fight and win two major wars nearly simultaneously.

Instead, Rumsfeld advocates a strategy under which the United States can win one major war decisively, while handling a series of lesser contingencies, including repelling the initial stages of a second major war.

Rumsfeld and Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers are scheduled to brief U.S. President George W. Bush on the revised strategy and its implications Friday in Crawford, Texas.

• The Pentagon

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