Bush Advised to Delay Troop Cuts in Iraq

He may also leave any Afghan buildup to his successor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2008 10:47 AM CDT
A US soldier stands guard during a joint Iraqi police and US military operation searching for wanted suspects from the Mahdi Army militia, in Baghdad, Aug. 29, 2008.    (Khalid Mohammed)
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(Newser) – President Bush's top defense advisers have recommended he maintain 15 combat brigades in Iraq until the end of the year—contrary to expectations that the improved security in Iraq would allow for quicker cuts, the AP has learned. If Bush follows the recommendations, he would delay any additional buildup in Afghanistan until early next year.

Military leaders told the AP that the closely held plan would send a small Marine contingent to Afghanistan in November to replace one of two Marine units expected to head home then. Then in February, a brigade would be deployed to Afghanistan instead of Iraq. The plan is a compromise, senior military officials said, because David Petraeus has argued for maintaining current force levels in Iraq.