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Army may have to extend deployments in Afghanistan

 Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the military will be able to fund training and operations for combat units in Afghanistan now and for those deploying in the summer and fall. But he says there will be delays in training for those deploying in 2014.

If those training delays can't be made up, Odierno said he would have to send forces to war that aren't ready or extend deployments of units already there. A number of combat brigades will be deploying later this year and next year, even as the U.S. winds down the war.

"We will try to divert money so we do not have to extend people in Afghanistan," Odierno told a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "That's a very big concern of mine."

He said that right now the Army is facing a shortfall of as much as $8 billion in operating funds for Afghanistan, and there could be an additional $5.4 billion in cuts if Congress can't resolve a budget standoff and automatic reductions - called sequester - go into effect.

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