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Defense secretary to add up to 22,000 troops to U.S. Army

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Robert Gates says increase in troop levels planned to last three fiscal years
  • Levels would rise from 547,000 to up to 569,000; no new combat forces planned
  • Goal is to ease strain of deployment amid lengthy rotations in Afghanistan, Iraq
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Monday that he plans to increase the size of the U.S. Army by up to 22,000 troops.

Gates said at a Pentagon news conference that the goal of the increase is to ease the strain of deployment, as many troops have faced repeated lengthy rotations in Afghanistan or Iraq.

He called it a temporary increase planned to last three fiscal years, expanding U.S. troop levels from the current 547,000 to a maximum of 569,000.

The increase will not create new combat forces, Gates said, but will help both commanders in the field and families back home by reducing the pressures of multiple rotations.

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