The second-highest ranking U.S. general in Afghanistan says it will take longer to send some troops to the ramped-up war there, indicating it will probably be nine to 11 months before all are in place.
Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez says logistical challenges involved in bringing so many forces in quickly will likely mean that the escalation will take longer than expected to phase in. That would extend the surge beyond next summer.
In launching the escalation of 30,000 U.S. forces last month, the Obama administration said the troops would be in place within six months. Rodriguez said Monday the bulk of forces will be in place by summer but some will not arrive until fall. Officials say withdrawal plans by July 2011 are not affected by the delay.