Last night on NBC Nightly News, Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said that many military officials are “suspicious” of President Bush’s announcement that he plans to increase the size of the armed forces. They believe that “he’s dangling that offer out there in an effort to buy the military support for the option to surge additional American troops into Iraq as if it’s some kind of tradeoff.”
Miklaszewski added that military leaders are also still opposed to an increase in U.S. troops in Iraq, believing it would “be like throwing kerosene on a fire.” Watch it:
In the 2004 campaign, Bush repeatedly attacked Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) proposal to expand the Army by 40,000 troops. As recently as six months ago, a “Statement of Administration Policy” stated that the administration “opposes increases in minimum active Army and Marine Corps end strengths.” Bush’s plan to send 15,000 to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq has been unanimously opposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as by Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East.
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