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The United States already has some 130,000 troops in Iraq (epa)
January 10, 2007 -- Reports say U.S. President George W. Bush is to announce that he will send about 21,500 extra U.S. troops to Iraq when he delivers a major policy speech today.
Western news agencies quote unnamed senior administration officials as saying that 17,500 troops would go to Baghdad and 4,000 to the volatile, western Al-Anbar Governorate. The additional troops are to be sent to Iraq over the coming months. The United States already has about 130,000 troops in Iraq.
The officials said the cost of the troop increase would be around $5.6 billion. An additional $1.2 billion would go to financing rebuilding and jobs programs.
Bush is also expected to recommend the transfer of responsibility for security to the Iraqis for all of the country's 18 provinces by November. Three provinces are currently under Iraqi government control.
White House adviser Dan Bartlett told U.S. television that Bush "will say very clearly" that mistakes "were made in Iraq."
Democrats, who now control both houses of the U.S. Congress, have warned that they plan to oppose what they see as an "escalation" of the war in Iraq. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to hold a vote on any troop increase.
(compiled from agency reports)
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