I actually thought the tours were already more than a year. But this makes it official, effective immediately.
Now I'm not naive enough to think that this will turn more Americans against the occupation of Iraq. But I do think that those Americans who stop and think about this will realize that extending tours is another sign that Bush is breaking our army. He's breaking it. Watch Joe Biden address this during a brilliant moment of rage from March 14th:
Update: I was right.
"Some units had already been extended beyond 12 months by varying amounts. The new policy will make deployments more equitable and more predictable for soldiers and for their families, Gates said."
Predictable? If you mean that families now know to lower their expectations of seeing their loved ones soon, then yes, it makes things more predictable. The comments at the BBC are piling up, and the families posting comments sound pretty damn pissed.