Wave of US troops due in Iraq by month's end

The first wave of additional US troops will go into Iraq before the end of the month under President Bush's new plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. Up to 20,000 US troops will be put on alert and be prepared to deploy, under the president's plan, but the ongoing increase in forces on the ground will be gradual, said the official, who requested anonymity because the plans have not yet been announced. Moving first would be the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, which is in Kuwait and poised to deploy quickly into Iraq.