Pentagon Extending Tours of Duty in Iraq

SEPTEMBER 23, 2005 - Posted at 4:44 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - Over 9,000 active-duty U.S. troops in Iraq aren't coming home on schedule in January.  The Pentagon says that when their one-year tours end they'll be kept over an extra seven to ten days.

A spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Rumsfeld approved the extensions last night.  Their extra few days in Iraq will mean the units replacing them won't have to start their tours during the Iraqi elections in December.

Another Pentagon spokesman says the move will "maintain stability of U.S. forces during the elections."

The Pentagon has made a commitment to all deployed troops in Iraq that they will serve no more than 12 months there.  That limit has occassionally been extended.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)