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Mullen: Dwell Time Expansion Delayed Until 2012 at the Earliest

It’s been about a month since Adm. Michael Mullen conceded that a Defense Department initiative to expand so-called “dwell time” between Army deployments would be delayed. Today, Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pegged it to a date: 2012 or 2013.

During a lecture at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy this afternoon, Mullen outlined some of the challenges facing the military — principally, the Afghanistan “extended surge” and withdrawing from Iraq — before addressing the stress on the force. “The operational tempo of the next couple of years certainly is not going to put us in a position” to expand dwell time to “be[ing] at home twice as long as deployed” for another “two, two and a half, three years.”

The Obama administration’s decision to delay the dwell time expansion cost it the support of VoteVets, the progressive veterans’ association, on Afghanistan.

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