RealNews

43,000 Alerted for Duty in Iraq

The Pentagon began alerting 43,000 Reserve and National Guard troops late Wednesday for the possibility of yearlong duty in Iraq or Kuwait as part of a force-rotation plan that would reduce the overall American military presence in Iraq by next spring, senior Pentagon officials said. The alert warnings and deployment orders approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday reflected concern by Pentagon officials and the administration over stresses that large mobilizations have placed on reservists and their families. These, in turn, have prompted complaints in Congress. The orders were drafted to give the troops maximum warning about their possible duty and to ensure that the bulk of them had not already been called up since Sept. 11, 2001, senior Pentagon officials said. Full Story

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