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US occupation of Iraq unsustainable over long run, Congress warns

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  • US occupation of Iraq unsustainable over long run, Congress warns

    Thank you, government geniuses who got us into this mess...

    Good luck maintaining occupation with 38,000 soldiers...


    In article <[email protected]>, AFP wrote:
    WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (AFP) - The United States will not be able to sustain its current occupation force in Iraq without increasing the overall size of the military, ending other overseas commitments or rescinding troop rotation rules, according to a new congressional report slated for release Wednesday. The Congressional Budget Office warned that if the current policy of keeping army units in a war zone no longer that one year is preserved, the US Army "would be unable to sustain" its present Iraq contingent "beyond about March 2004." More than 180,000 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq and neighboring Gulf nations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to congressional officials. But soldiers hunting down remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime will have to start withdrawing next spring, and the US Army lacks fresh troops to replace them all, the officials said. As a result, the army will be able to keep in Iraq indefinitely only between 38,000 and 64,000 troops, if it relies exclusively on its active duty soldiers and some reserve units, according to the CBO report, advance copies of which circulated on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Maintaining such an occupation force would cost the US taxpayer up to 12 billion dollars a year. mk/bm US-Iraq-occupation
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