Mullen: Can’t have more troops in Afghanistan ‘until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq.’

June 2008 was the deadliest month of the Afghanistan war and the second straight month that the number of troops killed there surpassed that of Iraq. “It has been a tough month in Afghanistan,” President Bush acknowledged today. This morning, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen said he cannot send more troops to Afghanistan until there are further troop reductions in Iraq:

MULLEN: What I said in my statement is also important as a part of that calculus, which is, I don’t have troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach to send into Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq.

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“[U]nlike the insurgency in Iraq, we don’t have enough troops there to hold,” he added later, when asked about the Taliban’s growth.