Saturday, February 03, 2007


Disappeared truth: Bush is sending 35,000-48,000 troops, not 21,500, to Iraq

The number of troops Bush is sending to Iraq in his current escalation of the war is almost always given as 21,500 in news stories (for example, in this morning's Honolulu Advertiser story, Intelligence outlook on Iraq paints bleak picture which comes from the Washington Post (subscription required):
National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said the [National Intelligence Estimate] "explains why the president concluded that a new approach and new strategy was required." He said Bush received extensive intelligence input before he announced his new plan, which includes the deployment of 21,500 additional U.S. combat troops to Iraq.
For some reason that I just don't understand, it seems reporters are content to take what the president says and print it as fact (that he said it is fact, of course). Why do they do this?

No matter what newspaper you look in, you'll see 21,500, though some articles use 20,000 for some reason.

On February 1, the Congressional Budget office issued a report that gives substantially higher figures for both the number of troops headed to Iraq and the cost of sending them. As many as 48,000 troops will be sent, and the cost could be up to $27 billion in the first year only, nearly nine times the Bush estimate.

The CBO estimate recognizes that the military will be sending additional support units along with the regular combat troops. This puts the total deployment to 35,000-48,000, not 20,000-21,500. Big difference. And much higher expense.

Somewhere at the Washington Post they have a copy of the CBO report (our local papers can get one also, please just click on the link above if you are reading this over there in the newsroom). You can also check with your sources to get the complete picture.

So now that you know, will you continue to tell us that only 21,500 (or 20,000) troops are being sent? Let's see. Democracy Now! and some of the alternative media have reported the higher number.

I hate to complicate this even further, but neither Bush nor the CBO have estimated the number of mercenaries, or contract troops, that we have or will be sending to Iraq. Perhaps that number is available elsewhere, and it could be of public interest. These troops work for Blackwater USA and perhaps other firms.


Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older