WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Associated Press has learned that President Bush's top defense advisers have recommended he maintain 15 combat brigades in Iraq until the end of the year. Some had expected that the improved security in Iraq would allow for quicker cuts.
Military leaders told the AP that the closely held plan would send a small Marine contingent to Afghanistan in November. Those Marines would replace one of two Marine units expected to head home then.
If Bush follows the recommendations, he would delay any additional buildup in Afghanistan until early next year, when another brigade would be deployed there instead of to Iraq.
That move would cut the number of brigades in Iraq to 14 in February.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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