US needs help in Iraq, Rumsfeld admits

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The Independent US

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence, conceded at the weekend that America needs help from other countries to end the bloodshed in Iraq and defeat terrorism around the world.

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence, conceded at the weekend that America needs help from other countries to end the bloodshed in Iraq and defeat terrorism around the world.

"This cause is an international one," he said in a speech to the graduating class at the West Point military academy in New York. "Its success depends on convincing friends and allies with whom we are so inter-dependent to not be terrorised by threats or isolated by fears".

His address was striking in its conciliatory tone. Two years ago, President George Bush used the same ceremony at West Point to outline his doctrine of pre-emptive strikes that was the backdrop to the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent fraying of America's relations with many of its traditional allies. "We must take the battle to the enemy," Mr Bush said at that time.

Mr Rumsfeld warned that the global war on terrorism was likely to be long. "We are closer to the beginning of this struggle, this global insurgency, than to its end," he said. Mr Rumsfeld made no mention of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. In recent weeks, he has faced pressure from critics to take responsibility for the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and resign his post.

Hours after the Secretary of Defence made his speech on the campus about 100 protesters marched to the gates chanting: "Rumsfeld resign!" His speech was met by mostly polite applause from the graduating cadets.

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