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Reed Says US Will Stay in Iraq for a Decade (posted September 21, 2003)

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed predicted that the United States military would be in Iraq for a decade. Interviewed on the WPRI-TV show "Newsmakers" with Jack White and Scott MacKay, Reed said of the American effort that it is "hugely costly and the future is uncertain. We are there for a decade."

Reed refused to support Senator Ted Kennedy's recent criticism that Bush's war was a "fraud". When asked about that statement by MacKay, Senator Reed replied, "I wouldn't go so far as to say that."

Instead, the Rhode Island senator focused his criticism on what he said was an inadequate troop force and the total cost of the effort. "We don't have the troops to back it up," he noted. "I absolutely do believe we need more troops." You can't democratize a country "on the cheap," he explained.

Both reporters asked Reed for his estimate of how much the war ultimately would cost. Reed predicted that in addition to the $80 billion the past year and the $87 billion Bush has requested for the coming year, that next year Bush would need "another $50 billion". If this is true, it would bring the total war cost to $217 billion.

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