JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic

News and Views

President Karzai Meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates traveled to Kabul on January 16, where he was received by President Hamid Karzai and Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak. Secretary Gates met with Defense Minister Wardak after his arrival for consultations on what should be done to counter the Taliban’s most recent campaign of violence and provide the security needed to reconstruct the country.

President Karzai received Secretary Gates for a dialogue about Afghanistan’s security situation. “The United States of America is not only firm in its commitment to the strengthening of peace and stability in Afghanistan, but its commitment has further deepened,” the President said. He welcomed Secretary Gates, who reiterated his country’s commitment to the fight against terrorism, the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and the strengthening of the Afghan national army and police.


Secretary Gates spoke of on the ongoing efforts to build and strengthen the Afghan security forces. "I believe that we must do what is necessary in order to sustain the success that we have already attained in Afghanistan," the Secretary said during a news conference at the presidential palace. “The Afghan army is increasingly taking the lead in combat operations, and the force continues to grow in size and strengthens the confidence, and I met some of these forces this afternoon and was very impressed.” He said it was “very important not to let the success in Afghanistan slip away from us, and that we keep the initiative."

Secretary Gates commented on the increase in attacks from across the border, particularly in north and south Wazirestan, and pledged to work with Pakistan to reduce cross-border violence and fight terrorism more effectively. "There's no reason to sit back and let the Taliban regroup," he added.

Secretary Gates said the issue of a troop increase would be studied by the US joint staff and also raised with NATO. He said he would press the allies at an upcoming NATO defense ministers' meeting in Seville, Spain, to fulfill commitments they have already made.

Defense Secretary Gates also met with U.S. military leaders at Bagram Airfield today for intelligence updates and discussions on current and future operations in Afghanistan. Gates was accompanied by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan. During Gates’ time at Bagram, military leaders explained current and future capabilities of the airfield and how those capabilities will affect the overall mission in Afghanistan to defeat terrorism, provide humanitarian assistance and aid in infrastructure and economic development.          

"I think it is important that we not let this success here in Afghanistan slip away from us and that we keep the initiative," he told reporters traveling aboard his aircraft as he departed Kabul. "There's no reason to sit back and let the Taliban regroup," Gates said. Earlier in the day, U.S. military officials told reporters traveling with Gates that cross-border incursions from Pakistan were the reason for more attacks on international forces. They said the Taliban was taking advantage of a peace deal that the Pakistani government reached in September with pro-Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal area.

Home | Contact Us | Sitemap © 2006 Embassy of Afghanistan and GlobeScope Inc. All Rights Reserved.