U. S. May Increase Troop Strength in Iraq

October 31, 2004

According to USA Today on October 26, Pentagon officials are drawing up plans to increase the number of troops in Iraq, by delaying the departures of some U.S. troops now in Iraq and accelerating the deployment of others scheduled to go there next year.

The plans could possibly raise the number of U.S. troops in Iraq from the current 138,000 to almost 160,000. One plan calls for delaying the departure from Iraq of the 1st Cavalry Division, which is set to begin leaving in January. At the same time, the Pentagon would move up the deployment of some elements of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

Other options include using U.S. troops now being held in reserve in Kuwait or deploying elements of the Army's 82nd Airborne, currently in Afghanistan.