Tension escalates in Iraq
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A plan to expand the U.S. Army will cost 70 billion
U.S. dollars, a top U.S. Army general said on Tuesday.
The cost for expanding the Army's size by adding 62,000 soldiers would cost
70 billion dollars over five years, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, a deputy chief of
staff, told reporters.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced earlier this month that he would recommend
to President George W. Bush an increase of 92,000 soldiers in the
military over the next five years, including 65,000 soldiers for the Army and
27,000 for the Marine Corps.
The Pentagon would first propose to make permanent the temporary increase
of 30,000 for the Army and 5,000 for the MarineCorps, he said.
The Defense Department would then propose to 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 would be
at 547,000, according to Gates.
Currently the U.S. Army has been authorized by Congress to increase its
active-duty soldiers from 482,000 to 512,000 on a temporary basis, and its
actual number stands at about 507,000. The Marine Corps for the time being has
an active-duty force of 180,000.
The U.S. military has more than 130,000 troops in Iraq and 20,000
in Afghanistan, and most of the ground troops are from the Army and the