US commits to adding US combat troops to Afghanistan next year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

US commits to adding US combat troops to Afghanistan next year

Associated Press - April 4, 2008 11:13 AM ET

(AP) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that the U.S. intends to send many more combat forces to Afghanistan next year, regardless of whether troop levels in Iraq are cut further in the second half of this year.

It's the first time the Bush administration has made such a commitment for 2009.

Gates was speaking to reporters on Friday while flying to Muscat, Oman, from a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania. The Pentagon chief says that President Bush made the troop pledge during the summit.

Gates said Bush was not specific about the number of additional troops that would go to Afghanistan. The U.S. now has about 31,000 troops there.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/