US to send more troops to Iraq

US is planning to send more troops to Iraq. They could be sent to Iraq around the first of next year, according to a senior Defense Department official.

US to send more troops to Iraq

US is planning to send more troops to Iraq. They couldbe sent to Iraqaround the first of next year, according to a senior Defense Departmentofficial.

If their assignment to Iraqis ultimately approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, it would be the firsttime full Guard combat brigades were sent back to Iraq for a second tour.

The units would serve as replacement forces in the regular unit rotation forthe war, and would not be connected to the recent military build-up forsecurity operations in Baghdad.Gates is expected to sign the notices alerting the Guard troops shortly, saidthe official, who requested anonymity because the information has not yet beenreleased.

"You will start to see reserve component forces coming back into therotation," said the official, adding that the notices are being done nowin order to give the Guard units as much time as possible to prepare.

Guard officials told The Associated Press in February that they hadcontingency plans to send at least two Guard combat brigades back to Iraq in 2008for their second yearlong tour of duty.

While it is not clear yet which units would be alerted, they would likelyinclude brigades that were among the first to go to Iraq early in the war. Some ofthose include brigades from North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Indiana.

Smaller units and individual troops from the Guard have already returned to Iraq for longerperiods, and some active duty units have served multiple tours. A brigade isroughly 3,500 troops.

Congress has approved the money, but the Senate added aprovision also calling for most U.S.combat troops to be out of Iraqby March 31, 2008. The House version demands a September 2008 withdrawal. Bushhas vowed to veto any legislation that includes such deadlines.

According to defense and Guard officials, the first Guard units could go assoon as late December with others following over the next six months. Theywould be sent only if commanders in Iraq determined the troops wereneeded.

About 270,000 of the more than 347,000 Army Guard soldiers have served inthe Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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