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US Congress Urged To Press For Details On Plan For Global Troop Realignment

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Washington (AFP) Aug 15, 2005
An independent commission urged Monday that the Congress continue pressing the administration on the cost and impact of its plans to bring home some 70,000 US troops from Europe and South Korea.

The Overseas Basing Commission sent its final report to President George W. Bush reaffirming conclusions of an initial report in May which warned that a hasty drawdown could handicap the US military.

The commission said events since its first report have only underscored the need for the government "to proceed with due caution in the implementation of the overseas basing plan, ensuring that each step in the unfolding process leaves US national security strengthened."

It urged Congress to press the administration for specifics about the plan and its impact on the military.

The Pentagon has announced broad plans to bring home an estimated 70,000 US troops from bases in Europe and South Korea as part of a major realignment of American forces around the world.

Under the Pentagon's plans, US troops would be organized into smaller, more-mobile expeditionary units that would be based in the United States but would rotate into other countries for training.

The commission questioned the Pentagon's nine-to-12 billion-dollar cost estimate for the new global posture, suggesting it would actually exceed 20 billion dollars.

The commission also reiterated concerns about the plan's reliance on new allies, the lack of adequate strategic and tactical air lift, and the impact on the quality of life for returning service members and ultimately on recruiting.

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US Hopes Sino-Russian Maneuvers Don't Destablize Region
Washington (AFP) Aug 15, 2005
The United States will keep an eye on Chinese-Russian wargames starting Thursday and hopes they will not de-stabilize the region, the State Department said Monday.

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