News / USA

Gates to NATO Allies: Do Not Rush Out of Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 9, 2011.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 9, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
Sean Maroney

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged NATO allies Thursday to not rush out of Afghanistan, even as the United States prepares to start withdrawing its own troops next month. The secretary made his comments at a defense ministers meeting at NATO headquarters.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates had a clear message for America's NATO allies regarding the changes their Afghan mission faces in July.

"Even as the United States begins to draw down next month, I assured my fellow ministers that there will be no rush to the exits on our part - and we expect the same from our allies," said Gates.

Gates was speaking to reporters Thursday on the sidelines of his final NATO meeting in Brussels before retiring from defense secretary on June 30.

U.S. President Barack Obama remains committed to beginning a troop pullout from Afghanistan next month, but it remains unclear just how many U.S. personnel will go.

During his recent travels, which included stops in Afghanistan this week, Secretary Gates has repeatedly called for the drawdown to proceed at a cautious pace.

While NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen refused Thursday to commit to either timelines or figures for a pullout, he stressed that there would "be no rush for the exit" in Afghanistan by NATO or its partners.

He said the country remains the alliance's "top operational priority" and predicted that the Afghan government will take full control of security within the next few years.

"In July, Afghans will take [the] security lead in seven provinces and districts, representing 25 percent of the population," Rasmussen explained.  "That is a significant start to transition. And I am confident that we can complete it by the end of 2014."

Defense Secretary Gates has said he sees an end in sight for the Afghan war, thanks to security gains made within the past 18 months.  But violence continues to rage in Afghanistan's south and east, with Taliban militants launching daring attacks on Afghan government and security targets.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid