Bush to Shorten Iraq Tours, Halt Drawdowns

Combat tours shortened to one year
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 4:00 AM CDT
Gen David Petraeus cups his ear to listen to questions while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Bush is expected to announce today that the drawdown of US troops in Iraq will be suspended—once forces reach their presurge level in July—because of a resurgence of fighting, reports the Washington Post. The decision, urged by Gen. David Petraeus, means the number of troops in Iraq could remain at their presurge levels until the end of the Bush presidency.

Bush is expected to endorse Petraeus' recommendation for a 45-day freeze on troop levels after July to reassess the situation. The president will also cut the length of future tours of duty in Iraq from 15 months to one year. The tour reductions are aimed at helping to alleviate some of Petraeus' concerns about the "strain and stress" troops face in repeat assignments in the combat zone.