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Iraq Transition

Bush OKs 4,400 extra troops for Iraq

Story Highlights

• Deployment is in addition to 21,500 announced in January
• Increase comes at request of commander in Baghdad
• Most of 4,400 will handle detainee operations, spokesman says
• Budget request remains $100 billion but allocation adjusted
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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (CNN) -- President Bush has approved a request to deploy 4,400 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, officials said.

The president signed the request from Gen. David Petraeus, new coalition commander in Iraq, while on Air Force One between Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Montevideo, said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

In January, Bush said he planned to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq in an effort to stabilize the country, particularly Baghdad and Anbar province. The 4,400 troops are in addition to that number. (Watch new U.S. chief work the Iraqi streets Video)

Johndroe said the bulk of the troops would be dedicated to detainee operations, as the number of people detained is expected to increase under the new Baghdad security plan. The others, he said, would be for combat support troops.

The increase was expected. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that nearly 5,000 additional troops would be sent.

Bush has also sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revising the $100 billion request for funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reallocating $3.2 billion for the extra troops.

The overall $100 billion request has not changed, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The reallocation would come from items deemed "less timely or lower priorities than those in the current request," the OMB said.

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