(Radio liberty) - U.S. President George W. Bush says he is planning to increase the overall size of the United States military to handle the long-term fight against terrorism.
In an interview with "The Washington Post," Bush said he had instructed Defense Secretary Robert Gates to make a recommendation on ways to increase the number of U.S. Army troops and Marines.
Bush did not indicate how many troops could be added, but said he agreed with officials who have said that the U.S. military is facing strains due to numerous responsibilities, including the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, reports Trend.
The White House on December 19 said Bush is considering a short-term deployment of thousands more troops to Iraq in a fresh effort to establish security there. There are currently around 130,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.
White House budget director Rob Portman said U.S. costs to support the Iraq mission are projected to exceed $110 billion in the current fiscal year, or more than $2 billion per week.