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Report: Bush Administration Considering Troop Increase in Iraq


The Bush administration, conducting a review of its Iraq policy, is reported to be weighing the possibility of increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to stop the sectarian violence tearing that nation apart.

The New York Times newspaper says the White House has asked military planners and budget analysts to provide President Bush with options for sending as many 50,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq. But it also says that political, training and recruiting obstacles would limit the increase to between 20,000 and 30,000 troops.

Meanwhile, the Times and other news outlets say the Pentagon is planning to send a brigade of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division to Kuwait in January. The reports say the 3,500 member strong brigade could be sent into Iraq if Mr. Bush decides to increase the number of troops.

Mr. Bush plans to announce his strategy for Iraq sometime after the new year.

General Peter Schoonmaker, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, is warning that the service will "break" without adding thousands of more active duty soldiers to the ranks. He says the Army is being stretched thin under the burden of increased overseas deployments.

Some information for this report was provided by AP .

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