Friday, February 02, 2007

Bush Downplays Costs of Troop Increase

President George W. Bush's repeated statements of the need for 21,500 more combat troops in Iraq to quell the violence in Baghdad and in Anbar Province don't begin to give the full picture, a new Congressional Budget Office report reveals.

The startling report, issued Thursday by Budget Office Director Peter R. Orszag, said ordinarily another 27,500 troops would be necessary to support the additional 21,500 combat forces Bush featured in his talks to the nation. The budget office estimates range from 15,000 to 28,000 support troops that will be needed to back up the 21,500 mentioned by the administration.

"Army and DOD officials have indicated that it will be both possible and desirable to deploy fewer additional support units than historical practice would indicate," the budget report says. "[The office] expects that, even if the additional brigades required fewer support units than historical practice suggests, those units would still represent a significant additional number of military personnel."

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