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Doubling Down on Escalation

A report released yesterday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that the real troop increase associated with President Bush’s escalation policy could be as high as 48,000, more than double the 21,500 soldiers that Bush has claimed.

A report released yesterday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that the real troop increase associated with President Bush’s escalation policy could be as high as 48,000, more than double the 21,500 soldiers that Bush has claimed. Moreover, despite administration assertions that the escalation would cost $5.6 billion, the CBO report estimates that “costs would range from $9 billion to $13 billion for a four-month deployment and from $20 billion to $27 billion for a 12-month deployment.” The new facts about escalation come just as Congress is set to receive a long-delayed National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, the first such document from the U.S. intelligence community since 2002. According to the Washington Post, the NIE “outlines an increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration.”

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