Adm. Mullen: 9,000 to 10,000 troops in Haiti by Monday

  • Fri Jan 15th, 2010 8:48am
  • News

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he expects 9,000 to 10,000 troops will be in Haiti and off its shore by Monday to help distribute aid and prevent potential rioting.

Adm. Mike Mullen also said Friday the total American presence could rise as U.S. military officers determine how much assistance may be needed.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the primary goal is to distribute aid as quickly as possible “so that people don’t, in their desperation, turn to violence.” The secretary said military planners have been reluctant to drop food and water packages from the air because it could lead to lead to rioting. But bringing in supplies by sea and air have proved difficult because of Haiti’s badly damaged sea port and congested airport.