Total Of US Troops In Iraq
Rises To 141,000
Granma International
WASHINGTON -- The United States Army is planning an emergency mobilization of thousands of reserve troops for Afghanistan and Iraq, in an attempt to deal with the growing wave of resistance against the foreign military presence in those countries. In that respect, the U.S. Defense Department reported that some 5,600 troops from the so-called Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) would be notified of their deployment for this year, and some will receive the order within a month.
The mobilization of a large number of IRR troops is unusual, PL reports. The last time the government resorted to such a move was during the so-called Gulf War in 1991.
Members of the Army's General Staff were consulting U.S. congress members before announcing the mobilization plan today.
This is a measure that will not be of a voluntary nature, one Pentagon official told the media, asserting that the deployment of IRR forces will be mandatory. The IRR is made up of individuals who completed tours of active duty but remain subordinate to military command for several years after completing their commitment.
Far from implying a reduction in occupying troops, the proclaimed return of sovereignty to the Iraqis by the United States yesterday, means that new units are to be sent to the Arab country.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld noted that the total of U.S. troops has increased from 113,000 to 141,000. He accompanied President George W. Bush to the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, where Washington advocated a greater NATO participation in the occupation of Iraq.
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