Iraqi Occupation: In a Growth Phase


More troops will probably be in Iraq at the end of the year then there are now, AP reports, as an extra 5,000 are sent in to Baghdad to quell escalating violence there:

The Pentagon signaled plans to maintain or possibly increase the current level of about 130,000 troops in Iraq, by announcing that roughly 21,000 Army soldiers and Marines have been told they are scheduled to go to Iraq during the current 2006-2008 rotation.

Combined with two previous announcements of about 113,000 U.S. service members scheduled for the rotation period, this could bring the number of U.S. troops there to 134,000, if all are deployed.

Military commanders have said deployments depend on conditions in Iraq. But the latest announcement calls into question whether the Pentagon could significantly reduce troop levels in Iraq by year's end as commanders had hoped.

Back in 2003, our own Tim Cavanaugh discussed stop-loss, one of the military's techniques for keeping its numbers robust. The military does insist that it will be meeting its recruitment goals this year–sounds like they'll definitely need it.