US defense secretary: More troops for Baghdad

March 8, 2007 08:24

The Pentagon has approved a request by the new US commander in Iraq for an extra 2,200 military police to help deal with an anticipated increase in detainees during the Baghdad security crackdown, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. Gates also cited early indications that the Iraqi government is meeting the commitments it made to bolster security, although he cautioned that it was too early to reach any firm conclusions about the outcome. "We're right at the very beginning," he said a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "But I would say that based in terms of whether the Iraqis are meeting the commitments that they've made to us in the security arena, I think that our view would be so far, so good." He was referring to the movement of additional Iraqi troops into the capital. Gates said that the request for extra MPs is in addition to the 21,500 combat troops that President George W. Bush is sending for the Baghdad security plan, along with 2,400 support troops.

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