Troops fear Rumfeld's exit will end their Iraq mission - World - Times Online:
"Half of America and the upper echelons of the US military may be cheering Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation from the post of Defence Secretary, but there was no rejoicing yesterday among those most directly affected by his decisions: the frontline soldiers in Iraq.
Troops expressed little pleasure at the departure of the man responsible for their protracted deployment to a hostile country where 2,839 of their comrades have died.
Indeed, some members of the 101st Airborne Division and other troops approached by The Times as they prepared to fly home from Baghdad airport yesterday expressed concern that Robert Gates, Mr Rumsfeld’s successor, and the Democrat-controlled Congress, might seek to wind down their mission before it was finished.
Mr Rumsfeld “made decisions, he stuck with them and he did what he thought was right, whether people agreed with it, liked it, or not”, Staff Sergeant Frank Notaro said. He insisted that Iraq was better off now than before the war.
Staff Sergeant Michael Howard said: “It’s a blow to the military. He was a good Secretary of Defence. He kept us focused. He kept the leaders focused. It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes.”"