Officials: Iraq surge needs more troops
WASHINGTON, Mar. 2 (UPI) — Pentagon officials told a U.S. Senate committee as many as 28,500 troops will be needed for the Bush administration’s planned Iraq surge.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England told the Senate Budget Committee Thursday that 6,000 to 7,000 additional troops will be needed to support the 21,500 Bush plans to send to Iraq, USA Today reported Friday. England said it will be apparent in the space of a few months whether the troop surge helps to secure the war-torn country.
“By this summer we would have a much better indication in terms of the success of the program,” England said. “And so at that time we would adjust however is appropriate to do so.”
Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said requests for 2,400 support troops to supplement the surge have been granted and requests have been filed for 4,000 more.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated in February that 28,000 additional troops will be needed to support the escalation.