Revealed—Army Growth to Cost $70 Billion, Minimum:

The Bush Administration’s plan to boost the size of the Army by 65,000 permanent troops will cost the US an extra $70 billion in the 2009-13 period. That’s the official word from the Army’s resource chief, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, the service’s deputy chief of staff for plans. Speakes told the Defense Writers Group on Tuesday morning that new equipment alone will account for $18 billion of the total. Everything else—pay, benefits, training, infrastructure—will take $52 billion. These sums are over and above large amounts needed in 2007 and 2008 for similar purposes, which will be announced shortly, and initially planned for the 2009-13 period. The 65,000 troops equate to the addition of six active-duty brigade combat teams, raising the planned number from 42 to 48.