U.S. military pulling equipment from Iraq

WASHINGTON, April 8 (UPI) -- A significant portion of U.S. forces slated for Afghanistan will arrive from Iraq by the end of the summer, U.S. military generals said in Washington.

U.S. war planners anticipate that the drawdown of U.S. military forces from Iraq will parallel a buildup in troops in Afghanistan.


Lt. Gen. William Webster, commander of the 3rd Army, told reporters at the Pentagon that around half of the military equipment in Iraq is planned for the buildup under way in Afghanistan.

"We're about 35 percent through with that now," he said, adding about $1.25 billion worth of U.S. military equipment has left Iraq as of May 2009.

Webster said much of the equipment needs to be repaired or upgraded before heading off to Afghanistan. Much of that effort is slated for work at military bases in Kuwait.

U.S. military officials are watching political developments in Iraq in the wake of March parliamentary elections as they prepare to leave the country starting in August.

Webster told reporters that the expected drawdown in Iraq will mirror the buildup in Afghanistan.

"The president told us he wanted to move (into Afghanistan) as quickly as possible," he said, noting most of the vehicles needed for the buildup will be there by the end of summer.


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