No Afghanistan reinforcements on horizon

July 30, 2008 at 10:06 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Department officials say they are looking for more troops and assets to send to Afghanistan, but nothing has presented itself so far.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told the Armed Forces Press Service that while planners are trying to find ways to answer a need for men and materiel in Afghanistan, he said, "I don't have anything definitive to stand here before you today and relay."

However, Morrell did say that for the time being, U.S. Central Command's strategic reserve -- the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit -- will not deploy to Afghanistan. Instead, the unit's 2,200 soldiers would remain in training in Kuwait, the Armed Forces Press Service reported Wednesday.

Pentagon leaders have indicated that even though more troops are needed to battle Taliban militants in Afghanistan, the strategic reserve force is more vital as an insurance policy in the Middle East. Morrell told the news service he wouldn't speculate on the kinds of scenarios under which they could be deployed.

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