Bush reconsidering plan to reduce troops in Sinai

"What concerns people the most is the timing and the signal it sends to the region about the U.S. involvement," said Tamara Wittes, director of programs at the Middle East Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

"It's not a peace that Egypt publicly is committed to," she said. "In their strategic planning, the Egyptian military and Israeli military still view each other as adversaries."

The troops, she said, act as a buffer between the two countries, and also serve as a monitoring force, reviewing the actions of both militaries.

The United States is one of 11 countries participating in the mission, and currently 860 U.S. troops are in Sinai. There have been no major incidents along the border the troops patrol since the mission began in 1982.

Defense Department officials said the review of the 860 U.S. officers in the Sinai region is part of the administration's review of all international deployments.

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