June 24, 2004 – Compelled by the recent surge in violence, US Central Command (CentCom) has informally asked Army planners for as many as 25,000 more troops in Iraq, the Baltimore Sun reports. According to unnamed military officers and Pentagon officials, as many as five additional brigades have been requested by CentCom to bolster the already 138,000-strong US force in Iraq. The need for more troops "is clearly being driven by requirements in-theatre," one official said, referring to the worsening security situation in Iraq. Early this year, Pentagon planners had maintained hopes the number of US troops in Iraq would dwindle to 105,000 by late spring.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee it is "entirely possible" that US troops could be stationed in Iraq for years.