Тем не менее, Мр. Буш настаивает на снижении налогов. Ибо, если обещанное снижение сейчас отменить, у Избирателя тут же в мозгу останется зацепка: налоги не снизили из-за войны. А там, глядишь, и следующую войну организовать будет ой как трудно. Короче, то ли снизить налоги и остаться без денег на следущую войну (уже нет и на эту), то ли ждать бурных протестов против следущей войны?
(вот, написал "Ибо," и подумал: ффффу, надо меньше Крылова читать! У того все время это Ибо...ибо...ибо...Если так дaльше пойдет, я начну употреблять слова типа "отнюдь" и "присно." Ущипните меня!!!!)
Army Lacks Forces for Iraq Mission, CBO Warns
By Thomas E. Ricks and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 3, 2003; Page A10
The Congressional Budget Office warned yesterday that the Army lacks sufficient active-duty forces to maintain its current level of nearly 150,000 troops in Iraq beyond next spring.
In a report that underscores the stress being placed on the military by the occupation of Iraq, the CBO said the Army's goals of keeping the same number of troops in Iraq and limiting tours of duty there to a year while maintaining its current presence elsewhere in the world were impossible to sustain without activating more National Guard or Reserve units.
"The Army does not have enough active-duty component forces to simultaneously maintain the occupation at its current size, limit deployments to one year, and sustain all of its other commitments," the CBO said in the first detailed analysis of the likely future cost of the Iraqi occupation.
Guard and Reserve units are playing a major role in the occupation, and additional Guard and Reserve units are being activated to take over more of the Iraq mission early next year, the report noted. But it added that unless even more Guard and Reserve units are mobilized, "an occupation force of the present size could not be maintained past March 2004."
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), a frequent critic of the administration's Iraq policy who requested the CBO study, called the report "quantified evidence that the long-term occupation is straining our forces close to the breaking point." The CBO is an investigative arm of Congress.
The study said that if circumstances permit the size of the U.S. occupation force to be radically reduced, the active-duty Army could indefinitely maintain a presence of roughly 40,000 to 65,000 troops at an annual cost of $8 billion to $12 billion.
If the Bush administration calls up more Guard and Reserve units, the military could indefinitely support the even larger presence of a force of about 100,000 troops at a cost of as much as $19 billion a year, the study said.
The study undermines the idea of boosting the size of the Army as a fix for the manpower problems in Iraq. While some lawmakers have cited the situation in Iraq in calling for an increase in the size of the Army beyond its current 10 active-duty divisions, or about 480,000 troops, the study estimates that it would take five years to create and staff two new divisions that would permit the deployment of an additional 20,000 troops. It also would cost nearly $20 billion to start up those divisions and outfit them with new equipment, and about another $10 billion annually to keep them running.
Given the U.S. government's plan to train Iraqis to take over security functions, the study said, "efforts to create new Army divisions might not provide a timely response."
The cost to the Treasury may be the silver lining in the CBO's otherwise bleak assessment. Even at the high end of the CBO's cost estimate, $19 billion a year, a constrained military force would cost taxpayers considerably less than the $3.9 billion a month being spent for the current force in and around Iraq.
"It drops down to something reasonable, at least," said Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (S.C.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a defense policy expert.
Still, Spratt noted, even that limited cost would be coming on top of the steep climb in defense spending President Bush had planned before invading Iraq. The CBO concluded in a report last year that the administration's long-term defense plan would push military spending from about $349 billion last year to $408 billion in 2007.
Then, in inflation-adjusted dollars, defense costs would average $428 billion a year between 2008 and 2020.
"Future resource demands would be higher than defense spending has been at any time in the past 22 years -- exceeding the peak of $421 billion in 1985," the CBO analysis found, even before factoring in ongoing military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Spratt said he and Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, requested a meeting last month with the White House budget office to obtain a more detailed breakdown of the costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, he said, they have not received a response.
The Pentagon has declined to send an official to House hearings next week on war costs. A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department "has not had an opportunity to review and analyze the CBO report."
Separately, the administration's Iraq policy came under fire from another source -- former Army secretary Thomas E. White.
In a book on Iraq reconstruction to be released Thursday, White and three co-authors write that the administration's "plan for winning the peace is totally inadequate" and warn that the situation "threatens to turn what was a major military victory into a potential humanitarian, political and economic disaster."
In a cover letter accompanying copies of the book sent to journalists, White, who was ousted as Army secretary last spring by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, added that "we should not continue rebuilding the country in a haphazard manner."