Giuliani: Military Needs to Be Larger, Maybe 100,000 More Troops

Oct 3, 2007 7:10pm

ABC News’ Jan Simmonds reports: While answering a question this evening about whether the draft should be reinstated, Rudy Giuliani R-N.Y., said that the United States needs possibly 100 thousand more troops.

"I believe we have to increase the size of our military. I think we have to increase it by, easily 60 or 70 thousand, maybe 100 thousand," said Giuliani at a Town Hall Meeting in Windham, New Hampshire. "We need… And you can only do it with maybe 40 or 50 thousand at once, and then another 40 or 50 thousand. But I think we can do it through volunteers, volunteer service. I think the sense of patriotism, the sense of duty, the sense of interest in doing this is so great that we’ll be able to accomplish that. We’ll be better off that way."

The former New York mayor added that those extra troops were not needed just for combat purposes but also for peacekeeping duties. The troops will need to know "how to keep schools open, how to keep factories open, and how to keep communities running", he explained.

His rival for the GOP nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney, called for an increase in U.S. troops back in April. 

While hitting the topics he normally discusses, such as taxes, fiscal responsibility, and being on offense in the "terrorists war on us", Giuliani also faced a question not normally asked about medical marijuana.

A disabled woman, who noted that she was facing "chronic neurological pain", asked why Giuliani did not support legalizing the drug for people such as herself. While denying that he would order federal agents to raid the homes of people using medical marijuana or that he was a lobbyist for OxyContin or anyone else, Giuliani said that he held his position because the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) believes there are alternatives that are better than marijuana. Acknowledging that he was not an expert in medicine, Giuliani said he sought the guidance of the FDA and felt that the country was best served by following their lead.

Notably present at the Town Hall was John Brabender, a member of Giuliani’s media team. Brabender was seen speaking several times to a camera crew taping the event on film; the crew was also present at Giuliani’s other stops today. With his new radio ad, "Tested", hitting the airwaves in New Hampshire just this morning, it appears that Giuliani’s first television ad may not be too far behind.

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