Gates announces forced extensions for Army troops.

In the latest evidence that President Bush’s Iraq escalation strategy is forcing the military to the breaking point, Defense Secretary Robert Gates “said Wednesday that he was extending the tours of duty for active-duty Army troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from 12 to 15 months.”

UPDATE: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO): “This new policy will be an additional burden to an already overstretched Army. I think this will have a chilling effect on recruiting, retention, and readiness. We also must not underestimate the enormous negative impact this will have on Army families.”


UPDATE II: Atrios notes an interesting moment in the press conference when Gates scolds a “very thoughtless” fellow Pentagon official who prevented the Army from telling troops about this extension before it was announced publicly.