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1,400 more Marines to be sent to Afghanistan

January 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Pentagon will send 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan in the next few weeks. The Defense Department says Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved the additional forces Wednesday in hopes of consolidating gains already made during the troop buildup in Afghanistan and of putting extra pressure on insurgents.

President Barack Obama approved the original troop surge of 30,000 forces last year, and gave Gates leeway to add an extra 10 percent as need arose. The Defense Department says the additional 1,400 Marines will keep the number within the approved limit.

Right now, the U.S. has 100,000 troops in the country. Obama plans to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.