The Pentagon has approved a request to deploy an additional 2,200 military police to Iraq to support the increase of troops in Baghdad.

And according to congressional testimony by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England this week, up to 7,000 support troops could be needed to augment the “surge.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, day-to-day commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, has recommended keeping higher U.S. troop levels until February 2008.

When President Bush announced the increase in January, no time frame was given as to how long the “surge” would last. The Pentagon then put the “surge” at 21,500 troops.

“By this summer we would have a much better indication in terms of the success of the program,” England said in his testimony. “And so at that time we would adjust however is appropriate to do so.”

So far, some 10,000 troops have reached their assignments in Baghdad as part of the “surge.” By June, all 17,500 of the troops destined for Baghdad should be in place, officials have said.

The rest of the “surge” is made up of 4,000 troops added or extended in Anbar province.

Gates said the military police were requested by Gen. David Petraeus, the new American commander.

“That’s a new requirement by a new commander,” Gates said at a Pentagon press conference.

According to The Associated Press, the White House will ask for more money to fund the support troops needed to carry out the new Baghdad security plan.

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