US requests more troops for Baghdad buildup

The US Defense Department 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 Wednesday. Gates told reporters at the Pentagon that the extra MPs are in addition to the 21,500 combat troops that President Bush is sending for the Baghdad security plan and 2,400 other troops designated to support them. "That's a new requirement by a new commander," Gates said of the request for more military police by Gen. David Petraeus, who assumed command in Baghdad last month. Gates also said it was not a surprise that Sunni insurgents have launched increased attacks in recent days.