A U.S. soldier stands guard on a rooftop last December as an Apache helicopter passes overhead in New Baghdad, an eastern neighborhood in the Iraqi capital.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is likely to extend the tours of duty of some 100,000 soldiers currently deployed in Iraq by three months. The new policy would enable the surge to last for a year.
Sen. John Kerry blasted the plan: “This Administration keeps asking our troops for more—do more without the right equipment, spend more time on deployment even as our generals say there is no military solution to the war in Iraq.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced this afternoon that all active-duty Army soldiers currently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan could serve extended tours of up to 15 months in combat, meaning more than 100,000 troops now at war probably will be kept overseas three months longer than their expected one-year deployments.
The new Pentagon policy also means that tens of thousands of Army troops headed to Iraq and Afghanistan in coming months likely will serve tours 25 percent longer than the one-year tours the Army has had in place for the two conflicts over the past five years.