Don't miss




'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more


'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more


Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more


Mali's basketball star: NBA top player Cheick Diallo makes hometown proud

Read more


Trump threatens huge new tariffs on China

Read more


Tunisia lose first World Cup match against England

Read more


Colombia's next president: Duque defeats left-wing Petro in run-off

Read more


Aquarius, refugees and 'Europe's soul'

Read more


Music show: Chiara Civello, Jay-Z and Beyoncé & Solidays festival

Read more


Defence chief Gates says US has 'limited time' to show progress

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-09-04

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates (pictured) says he would be open to a request for more troops and resources to aid the international force in Afghanistan, adding that the United States has "limited time" to prove its new strategy is working.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday he would be open to any new request by the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan for more troops and resources, saying his concerns about sending too large a force can be mitigated.    


Gates added that the United States has "limited time" to show that President Barack Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan is succeeding.

"There is a limited time for us to show that this is working," Gates said at a press conference alongside Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


A long-awaited assessment of war by US Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the Western commander, has intensified debate within the administration over sending additional troops into the fight against a resurgent Taliban.


"I'm very open to the recommendations and certainly the perspective of Gen. McChrystal," Gates told a news conference, when asked about an expected request by the commander for more troops.


A former CIA chief who helped mujahideen rebels drive the Soviets from Afghanistan, Gates has previously expressed concern that if the US and NATO presence becomes too large, Afghans will see it as an occupying force.


But Gates said those concerns can be "mitigated" if the additional US forces "interact with the Afghans in a way that gives confidence to the Afghans that we're partners and their allies."


Mullen told reporters that the Pentagon understood there was a "sense of urgency" in Afghanistan, conceding that "time is not on our side" in the country.



Date created : 2009-09-04