8,200 Troops Requested to be Sent to Iraq and Afghanistan
President Bush ordered 4,700 more troops to be sent to Iraq and adding 3,500 more to forces in Afghanistan. These troops are on top of the 21,500 troop increase ordered in January.
These additional forces would be split between combat and support units in Iraq.
The troops sent to Afghanistan would bring U.S. forces there to an all-time high. The new forces would be used to accelerate training of local military units.
Bush requested $3.2 billion in emergency funding to pay for the additional troops. Bush asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DFL- California, to shift funds from "lower priority" programs. The request also asks for $500 million to send combat troops, linguists, and military trainers to Afghanistan.
This troop surge is raising suspicion that larger and longer lasting military action is ahead. Democrats in Congress are trying to reverse Iraq military action. A spending plan is in the works that aims to have Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks to keep U.S. troops in Iraq. Troop withdrawals, regardless of the local governments ability to meet such standards, would begin March 1, 2008 and those U.S. forces remaining would be out of combat by August 1, 2008. Bush's aides said the president would veto such a plan.
Pelosi said a presidential veto would suggest to Iraqi leaders the U.S. is not serious about leaving and giving them responsibility for their own country.
Check out the Pioneer Press coverage of this story.