Tue., January 19, 2010 4:59pm (EST)

Gen. Petraeus: More Home-Time for Troops
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
US General Petraeus says troops will have more time at home between deployments.  (photo by Michael Ruhl)
US General Petraeus says troops will have more time at home between deployments. (photo by Michael Ruhl)
By next summer, Afghanistan will have nearly twice as many US troops than Iraq, says US General David Petraeus.

At a luncheon today in Atlanta, the commander of US forces put numbers to the shift in focus from the war in Iraq to the war in Afghanistan.

Right now, 30,000 US troops are in the process of leaving for Afghanistan. They should all be there by August, says Petraeus totaling 98,000.

Petraeus says he recognizes the strain the wars have put on troops, and he wants them home more in between tours.

”As we’ve been able to build the in-strength of the army, to build the in-strength of the marine corp, we have achieved this greater dwell time. The goal is to get to two years, we think that’s sustainable for individuals.”

During the surge, he says, some units on 15-month tours had only a year between deployments.

As forces are ramping up in Afghanistan, they're being cut in half in Iraq, and Petraeus says reconciliation is going well.

“When you have 103,000 sons of Iraq on your payroll, you have a pretty good metric over whether or not reconciliation has or has not worked.”

Fifty thousand US troops will remain in Iraq.