Iraq Escalation Could Be Twice As Large As Bush Claimed
A study released today by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the real troop increase associated with President Bush’s escalation policy could be as high as 48,000, more than double the 21,500 soldiers that Bush has claimed.
As DefenseTech notes, extra forces are expected because the combat units being sent into Iraq “need to be backed up by support troops, ‘including personnel to staff headquarters, serve as military police, and provide communications, contracting, engineering, intelligence, medical, and other services.’” The CBO’s low estimate envisions at least 15,000 additional support personnel. The alternative scenario “would require about 28,000 support troops in addition to the 20,000 combat troops.”
Additionally, the cost of the escalation could be as much as five times higher than White House estimates:
According to the study, the costs for the “surge” would also be dramatically different than the President has said. The White House estimated a troop escalation would require about $5.6 billion in additional funding, the CBO now believes “that costs would range from $9 billion to $13 billion for a four-month deployment and from $20 billion to $27 billion for a 12-month deployment, depending upon the total number of troops deployed.”
Read the full CBO report HERE.