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Foreign Policy That Requires More Troops

August 16, 2003

Re "Do the Math: We Need More Boots on the Ground," Commentary, Aug. 12: Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution is correct that, given the current military obligations of the Bush administration, the current number of troops in the Army is inadequate. He concludes that we need a bigger Army, but does not say how to achieve those added numbers (bring back the draft?). Perhaps a more reasonable and cost-effective approach would be a foreign policy that doesn't require as many of our young people to put their lives in jeopardy.

Daniel Sapon-Borson

Portland, Ore.

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Re "U.S. Soldiers Fire on Iraqi Family; 4 Die," Aug. 12: There is no justification for U.S. soldiers gunning down Iraqi families driving their cars down the road. This kind of attitude has to stop. President Bush made a colossal mistake in invading Iraq. But we don't have to perpetuate the error. Let's get out of Iraq before more innocent people die.

Sam French

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Re "Stepping Off the Platform," Opinion, Aug. 10: We should ask what is behind the changes in U.S. foreign policy -- to preventive war and control of occupied countries, and domestically to ever-larger Pentagon budgets and increasing restrictions on American freedoms.

These reflect the growing influence on government of multinational corporations, with their goal of dominating crucial portions of the world to control oil and other vital resources. The elimination of conservation programs and rejection of international environmental commitments fit this pattern. This corporate takeover of government should be of deep concern not just to traditional conservatives but to all Americans.

Charles Crittenden

Lake View Terrace

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"Arms Plan for Iraqi Forces Is Questioned" (Aug. 8) states that 34,000 AK-47 assault rifles are to be furnished by the Bush administration for use by the new Iraqi army. This in a country that is bulging with weapons. It sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.

Albert Cohen

Sherman Oaks

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