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Former Iraqi Administration Chief Wanted More Troops

Bremer argued for more troops in May 2004 (file photo) (official site) 9 January 2006 -- The Pentagon acknowledged today that the former head of the U.S. occupation in Iraq told the Pentagon that more American troops were needed to secure Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita confirmed that Paul Bremer sent the Pentagon a memo in May 2004 arguing that a significantly larger U.S. force was needed in Iraq.

DiRita said it was the only time during his 13 months as head of the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Baghdad that Bremer offered advice on troop levels.

Bremer said in an NBC News interview on 8 January that his memo to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested half a million troops were needed -- more than three times the number there at the time.

Bremer served as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority from May 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad, until June 2004.


RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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