Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that up to three more combat brigades could be available to go to Afghanistan beginning next spring, in answer to repeated calls from commanders for more troops.
Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that more forces can't be committed now without extending combat tours or changing troop deployments. But, in response to prodding from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., he said they probably could go in the spring and summer of 2009.
Last week the senior U.S. general in Afghanistan said he needs at least 10,000 more ground troops, beyond the 3,700 Army soldiers due early next year.
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