A analysis released today by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the administration, in its public comments, has vastly underestimated the actual number of extra troops that will be deployed to Iraq under the president's "surge" plan.
The administration's estimate of approximately 21,000 extra troops only counts combat units, according to the analysis, and because combat units require support forces, the actual number of additional troops who will be in Iraq will likely exceed 35,000.
From the analysis (you can read it here
To reflect some of the uncertainty about the number of support troops, CBO developed its estimates on the basis of two alternative assumptions. In one scenario, CBO assumed that additional support troops would be deployed in the same proportion to combat troops that currently exists in Iraq. That approach would require about 28,000 support troops in addition to the 20,000 combat troopsâa total of 48,000. CBO also presents an alternative scenario that would include a smaller number of support personnelâabout 3,000 per combat brigadeâtotaling about 15,000 support personnel and bringing the total additional forces to about 35,000. [emphasis mine]
The analysis, which estimated the cost of the president's plan "from $9 billion to $13 billion for a four-month deployment and from $20 billion to $27 billion for a 12-month deployment," was sent to House Committee on the Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) today.Update
: A statement out from Spratt says that the administration, in an estimate given to Congress, gave a cost far below (about $3 billion) the actual one:
According to CBO, these additional troop deployments will cost between $7 billion and $10 billion this year alone, $4 billion to $7 billion more than the Administrationâs estimate. Total cost of the troop increase could range between $9 billion and $49 billion, which reflects the costs of a four-month and a 24-month troop increase.