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From Holden:

The Nine-Billion Dollar Man spills the beans on troop levels.

Pentagon officials acknowledged Monday that Paul Bremer, the senior U.S. official in Iraq during the first year of the war, told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in May 2004 that a far larger number of U.S. troops were needed to effectively fight the insurgency but his advice was rejected.

Larry Di Rita, a Rumsfeld spokesman, told reporters that Bremer made the recommendation in a memorandum and that it was the only time during his 13 months as head of the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Baghdad that he offered advice on troop levels.


Bremer said in an NBC News interview Sunday that his memo to Rumsfeld suggested half a million troops were needed – more than three times the number there at the time.