Gen. David H. Petraeus told the House Armed Forces Committee today that he does not foresee another buildup of US armed forces in Iraq, calling the possibility of a new surge "a pretty remote thought in my mind." If violences escalates again, the Army will make do with American and Iraqi troops already there, the Washington Post reports. His testimony comes a day before President Bush will lay out his troop strategy.
Petraeus—in his second day of congressional testimony—pushed again for a pause in troop reduction after the military completes a drawdown in mid-July. That would leave roughly 140,000 troops in Iraq. Petraeus was hard-pressed to account for a Congressional Budget Office report that says the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could top $2 trillion by 2018, and for the Pentagon's unrealistically low projected 2009 budget.