by David Phinney
Friday July 12th 2024



Troop Surge could Reach 48,000 in Theater
And the Number of Contractors?

The Hill beat Army Times on this by a few hours:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that the White House push to pump up troops in Iraq by another 21,000 will require an even larger troop deployment in the region as support to those troops.
President Bush forgot to mention that in his State of the Union message when he first unveiled the proposed troop buildup. Now, CBO estimates that support troops could inflate the “surge” to 48,000.
One wonders. Say the oversight was intentional. Perhaps Bush intends to send contractors to support the surge rather than extra troops.

FUZZY MATH QUESTION: Given the present ratio of 100,000 contractors/140,000 US troops in Iraq, how many more support contractors will be packing their bags to support the president’s 21,000 troop surge?
The Washington Post interprets the CBO numbers as involving “up to 48,000 troops and contractors” costing between $9 billion and $13 billion for the first four months. Sorry guys, you’re making it up. The word “contractors” is not mentioned one single time in the CBO report. All it says is 48,000 troops. (The need for “contracting” personnel is mentioned, but that means military people — civilian or uniformed — who write contracts.)
Or maybe Bush always intended ONLY to send contractors for his surge support. That way, there’s no misleading about the number of troops he wants to send.
Stay tuned and keep an eye on the number of Krispy Kremes being shipped.
Why does CBO estimate the President’s Iraq surge could actually total 48,000 troops?
U.S. military operations rely on substantial support forces that include uniformed personnel to staff headquarters, serve as military police, provide communications, and handle the contracting, engineering, intelligence, medical and other services. Apparently, White House planners haven’t accounted for that…. And all you have to do is look at past planning for Iraq to realize this oversight is standard operating procedure for Bush and Company.
According to CBO:

“Over the past few years, DoD’s (Department of Defense) practice has been to deploy a total of about 9,500 personnel per combat brigade to the Iraq theater, including about 4,000 combat troops and about 5,500 supporting troops.”

Using that formula, even scaled-back support forces would still result in a total of 35,000 troops to be sent to Iraq, says CBO.


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