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Local News

January 11, 2007

Hall voices support for Bush; backs plan for Iraq

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall) intends to back President Bush’s call for more troops in Iraq.

Prior to Bush’s scheduled Wednesday night address in which he outlined his plans to send more than 21,000 additional soldiers to the war-torn country, Hall said he had faith in Bush, although he had not heard many details about the proposal.

“This is a war unlike any other,” Hall said. “He’s going to stay the course.”

The Associated Press reported Bush planned to boost the number of U.S. troops in Iraq — now at 132,000 — to 153,500 at a cost of $5.6 billion. The highest number was 160,000 a year ago in a troop buildup for Iraqi elections.

The latest increase calls for sending 17,500 U.S. combat troops to Baghdad. The first of five brigades will arrive by next Monday. The next would arrive by Feb. 15 and the reminder would come in 30-day increments.

Bush also committed 4,000 more Marines to Anbar Province, a base of the Sunni insurgency and foreign al-Qaida fighters, according to the Associated Press story.

Hall said he had not been provided a preview of the speech, but expressed confidence in Bush.

“I respect him as Commander in Chief, and as the President of the United States and as a close personal friend,” Hall said. “I think he has a lot more information about what is going on in Iraq than I do and I do support him.”

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