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
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
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
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,"
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.
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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.