UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 23, 2009

GATES SAYS WE'LL BE IN AFGHANISTAN FOR YEARS

CNS - Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicts the U.S. will be in Afghanistan for years to come. In an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Gates laid out the state of the U.S. military -- and how well it is poised to face the future. . .

"To be blunt, to fail -- or to be seen to fail -- in either Iraq or Afghanistan would be a disastrous blow to U.S. credibility, both among friends and allies and among potential adversaries," Gates wrote.

Gates said the number of U.S. combat units in Iraq will decline over time – "as it was going to do no matter who was elected president in November," he added. "Still, there will continue to be some kind of U.S. advisory and counterterrorism effort in Iraq for years to come," he said. In Afghanistan, however, troop levels will likely continue to increase in the year ahead.

"Afghanistan in many ways poses an even more complex and difficult long-term challenge than Iraq -- one that, despite a large international effort, will require a significant U.S. military and economic commitment for some time," the defense secretary and former CIA head wrote.

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