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Iraq Seeks $100 Billion in Reconstruction Aid

Iraqi officials say the country needs about $100 billion from donor countries to rebuild its infrastructure.

A government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the money is needed over the next four or five years until Iraq reconstructs its oil sector. He called on the international community for help Tuesday at the opening of an aid meeting - the International Compact with Iraq - in Kuwait.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh says the aid will help strengthen Iraq's security capabilities and improve public services.

Also Tuesday in Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he is "comfortable" with a proposal to increase the size of Iraq's security forces.

Rumsfeld would not say how big of an increase the top U.S. commander in Baghdad General George Casey has proposed.

Iraq's army, police and border control forces now number about 310,000 and are slated to grow to 325,000 troops.

Secretary Rumsfeld was speaking in reply to a report by CBS News. The U.S. news network reports that General Casey is going to recommend an increase of up to 100,000 Iraqi soldiers and police.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.