Tuesday, March 06, 2007

White House Likely to Update War Request

WASHINGTON — The White House is ready to ask Congress for more money for President Bush's plan _ already hotly debated _ to send 21,500 new combat troops into Iraq.

The move would pay for support personnel and otherwise update last month's request for the Iraq war. It probably will draw criticism from Democrats who say the Pentagon had low-balled estimates of the costs of Bush's plan for improving security in Baghdad and Anbar province.

The latest request could come as early as Tuesday, modifying last month's $93.4 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through Sept. 30.

Though the changes may be relatively modest, they nonetheless are embarrassing to the White House and the Pentagon, which earlier dismissed criticism from lawmakers that the original $5.6 billion estimate for the troop buildup was too low.

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