Bush plans to expand US military

Forces are "stretched" and increase is needed to fight "terrorism".

    Bush said he had directed Robert Gates, the defence secretary, to consult army commanders on Iraq

    Troops 'stressed'
     
    Bush declined to put a number on the proposed increase, and disputed the assertion made at the weekend by Colin Powell, his former secretary of state, that "the active army is about broken".
     
    Bush said: "I haven't heard the work 'broken,' but I've the word 'stressed'." He told the newspaper that more ground forces were required to fight the so-called war on terrorism sparked by the attacks of September 11, 2001.
     
    He said: "It is an accurate reflection that this ideological war we're in is going to last for a while, and that we're going to need a military that's capable of being able to sustain our efforts and to help us achieve peace.
     
    "We need to reset our military. There's no question the military has been used a lot.
     
    "And the fundamental question is, will Republicans and Democrats be able to work with the administration to assure our military and the American people that we will position our military so that it is ready and able to stay engaged in a long war, and this ideological struggle?"

    SOURCE: Agencies


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