Washington The Pentagon has created, and ordered to Iraq, four custom-made Army brigades designed to focus more on advising Iraqis and less on fighting as America prepares for its 2011 exit.
The new units are among 30,000 troops being sent to Iraq, starting this fall, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. Another 7,500 are going to Afghanistan.
They all are replacements for forces finishing their tours of duty and rotating home from the military missions, and don’t amount to a troop buildup in either country, officials said.
The 30,000 for Iraq include three brigade combat teams, three headquarters units, a security brigade to be stationed in nearby Kuwait and four of the newly created so-called Advisory and Assistance Brigades, or AABs.
The advisory brigades include combat forces but are not technically combat units and will be allowed to stay in Iraqi cities when needed.
One headquarters unit will have some 800 soldiers from Fort Riley’s 1st Infantry Division.