SecDef Gates: Expect Major US Troop Presence In Afghanistan For At Least 2-4 Years
This sounds different than the 18-month timeline. While Afghan troops will take more responsibility in July 2011, only a small amount of US troops will withdraw at that point. And Gates, who was on three Sunday morning talk shows, says there will be more US casualties at first.
But both [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton and Gates said having a target date will help move both countries toward a successful transition.
”What we’ve done and what the president’s direction to the commanders on the ground is very clearly: We want this to move. We want it to move quickly,” said Clinton.
Obama’s combination of a troop increase and a transition target is intended to balance ”a demonstration of resolve with also communicating a sense of urgency to the Afghan government that they must step up to the plate in terms of recruiting their soldiers, training their soldiers and getting their soldiers into the field,” Gates saidClick here for reuse options!
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