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Senate Committee Hears Testimony on Iraq Strategy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified on Tuesday in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the administration's budget request for the proposed troop increase. NewsHour reports on the hearings, Gates' testimony, and the committee's approval of Gen. Casey as Army Chief of Staff.

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    The Pentagon's top civilian and top military official today made their annual trip to Capitol Hill to promote the president's defense spending proposals. But numbers and budgets quickly were overshadowed at the Senate Armed Services Committee by questions about Iraq strategy.

    Chairman Carl Levin asked Joints Chiefs Chairman General Peter Pace whether U.S. troops were fully prepared to carry out the president's new plan for stabilizing Baghdad.

    SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), Michigan: Can you give us assurance that troops arriving in the theater are going to be fully equipped and trained before they enter combat in Iraq?

    PETER PACE, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: The short answer to your question is, yes, sir. The timeline that our troops are on will allow us to fully man, train and equip the units before they deploy to Iraq. But the mandate from General Casey is and will remain that no one will leave operating bases unless they are in properly up-armored Humvees.

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