A senior US military commander says the new troop deployments to Afghanistan will put more strain on already war-weary soldiers.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says the US military will have to postpone plans to allow soldiers more time at home between combat tours.
US soldiers currently experience one year of dwell time for every year deployed.
Earlier this year, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he planned to increase dwell time to 24-months by 2011.
Now, Mullen says, it will take longer than previously projected for the army to implement the plan.
This comes amid rising rates of mental disorders and attempted suicides among US soldiers, which is believed to be fueled by repeated deployments.
The developments come just days after US President Barack Obama ordered the deployment of 33,000 more US troops to Afghanistan and said that US forces would start a partial withdrawal in July 2011.
Several senior US officials have said they are opposed to the idea of setting an arbitrary target date for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Gates has said that Obama's plan to start bringing soldiers back from Afghanistan in 18 months might slip, implying that no deadlines could be set.
A new poll, meanwhile, shows that the majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling of the Afghan war, with 40 percent saying that the number of US troops in the country should be decreased.