Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is allowing the Army to approach White House budget officials by itself to argue for substantial increases in resources, a significant divergence from initial plans by Mr. Rumsfeld and his inner circle to cut the Army to pay for new technology and a new way of war.
With its troops and equipment worn down by years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army appears likely to receive a significant spike in its share of the Pentagon’s budget request when it goes to Congress early next year. Significantly, increases to the size of the Army made by Congress since 2001, amounting to 30,000 troops, have become a permanent fixture of the force, military and Congressional officials say.
Beyond that, the Army is discussing internally whether it should expand by tens of thousands more, as some in Congress have long advocated. This time, Mr. Rumsfeld is not standing in the way. His original vision for a transformed military called for leaner, more agile forces capitalizing on the latest technological innovations. more