Pentagon plans to expand military by 92,000 in five years 2007-01-12 00:40:41

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday that he would recommend President George W. Bush add 92,000 soldiers to the military over the next five years.

    The emphasis will be on increasing combat capability and the boost would consist of 65,000 soldiers for the Army and 27,000 for the Marine Corps, he told a news conference.

    The increase would be accomplished in two ways, Gates said.

    The Pentagon would first propose to make permanent the temporary increase of 30,000 for the Army and 5,000 for the Marine Corps, he said.

    The Defense Department would then build up from that base in annual increments of 7,000 troops a year for the Army and 5,000 for the Marine Corps until the Marine Corps reaches a level of 202,000, and the Army 547,000, he said.

    Congress has authorized the U.S. Army a temporary increase to its active-duty soldiers from 482,000 to 512,000. Its actual number stands at about 507,000. The Marine Corps currently has an active-duty force of 180,000.

    Gates also announced that changes would be made to polices that would enable the military to mobilize enough troops for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "For several months the Department of Defense has been assessing whether we have the right policies to govern how we manage and deploy members of the Reserves, the National Guard and our active component units," he said.

    The mobilization of ground reserve forces going forward would be managed on a unit, instead of an individual, basis, a change he said would help achieve greater unit cohesion and predictability in how Reserve units train and deploy.

    The reserves would be involuntarily mobilized for a maximum of one year in contrast to the current practice of 16 to 24 months, effective immediately, he said.

    The planning objective for Guard and Reserve units would remain one year of being mobilized, followed by five years demobilized, Gates said. "However, today's global demands will require a number of selected Guard and Reserve units to be remobilized sooner than this standard," he said.

    "Our intention is that such exceptions be temporary," he added.

    The U.S. military has more than 130,000 troops in Iraq and 20,000 in Afghanistan. Most of the ground troops are from the Army and the Marine Corps.


    Bush says to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday night that he has ordered more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq, as part of his new Iraq strategy.

    U.S. House document calls for bigger military

    INGTON, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States needs a larger military force and improved capabilities to meet global threats, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) said in a document released here Thursday.

    Bush says bigger military size is necessary

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday that a permanent increase of the size of the U.S. military is necessary, but stopped short of saying if he will send more troops to Iraq.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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