The quagmire deepens


Richard Moore

The difference between now and Vietnam? the guerrilla war has two fronts.


Original source URLs:,0,4643030.story?coll=l

    Bush Seeks 8,200 More Troops for Wars
    By Deb Riechmann,
    The Associated Press
    Saturday 10 March 2007

Montevideo, Uruguay - President President Bush asked Congress on Saturday for 
$3.2 billion to pay for 8,200 more US troops needed in Afghanistan and Iraq on 
top of the 21,500-troop buildup he announced in January.

Bush wants Congress to fund 3,500 new US troops to expand training of local 
police and army units in Afghanistan. The money also would pay for the estimated
3,500 existing U.S. troops he already announced would be staying longer in the 
region to counter an anticipated Taliban offensive in Afghanistan this spring.

In Iraq, most of the additional troops would help with the latest Baghdad 
security plan, which is getting under way in the capital. The money would pay 
for 2,400 combat support troops, 2,200 military police forces and 129 troops for
reconstruction teams.

The budget revisions come as many lawmakers opposed to the buildup in Iraq are 
debating funding for the war. But in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 
Bush proposed canceling $3.2 billion in low-priority defense items to offset the
extra money needed to support the additional troops.

Cutting the programs, he said, would eliminate the need to increase the overall 
$93.4 billion in additional defense money he's already requested to finance this
year's war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This revised request would better align resources based on the assessment of 
military commanders to achieve the goal of establishing Iraq and Afghanistan as 
democratic and secure nations that are free of terrorism," Bush wrote in his 
letter to lawmakers.

Bush signed the letter on his flight Friday from Brazil to Uruguay, part of his 
five-nation tour of Latin America that continues on Sunday in Colombia. The 
White House released the letter Saturday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, recently hinted of the need
to bolster the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

"Gen. Petraeus expects under the Baghdad security plan as well as other parts of
Iraq, that the number of people going into detention will increase and so these 
military police forces will be for that," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for 
the National Security Council.

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