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Pentagon: Nearly 200,000 US Troops in Place for Possible Attack on Iraq

The number of U.S. forces poised for a possible attack on Iraq is rapidly approaching the 200,000 mark.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U.S. forces are prepared to move against Iraq now if called upon to do so by President Bush.

Those forces, including ground, air and naval units, currently total some 194,000 in and around the Gulf. A senior Pentagon official says 99,000 of the troops are in Kuwait.

Thousands more U.S. military personnel are still flowing into the region. Some defense officials say the ultimate attack force could surpass 250,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

Britain has also sent troops to the Gulf for a potential war. And Mr. Rumsfeld says other countries have offered support as well for an operation designed to force Iraq to give up its programs for weapons of mass destruction.