URGENT

Defense secretary says U.S. may need to pause in drawdown of troops from Iraq

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has publicly endorsed, for the first time, the idea of a pause in the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq this summer.

"The brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense," he told reporters Monday after a meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.