U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, looks at NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a round table meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, June 9, 2011. NATO defense ministers shift their focus from Libya to Afghanistan during talks on Thursday. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) (AP)

Gates: No U.S. "rush for the exits" in Afghanistan

Defense secretary spoke after NATO secretary-general said July troop withdrawals will not affect Afghan security


Associated Press
June 9, 2011 4:46PM (UTC)

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there will be no "rush for the exits" by the United States in Afghanistan when President Barack Obama announces details of cuts in American troop numbers in the 10-year war against Taliban insurgents.

Gates was speaking Thursday after NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was confident U.S. troop withdrawals due to start in July will not affect security in the war-torn country.

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Earlier, Germany urged Washington not to pull too many of its 100,000 troops out of Afghanistan next month, saying a major reduction in American forces could risk NATO's strategy in the 10-year conflict.

The Obama administration has not yet released details of the planned reduction in its troop numbers in Afghanistan.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- NATO's chief says he is confident U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan due to start in July will not affect security in the war-torn country.

Alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was speaking after Germany urged the United States on Thursday not to pull too many troops out of Afghanistan next month, saying a major reduction in American forces could risk NATO's strategy in the 10-year conflict.

He also said there would be no "rush for the exits" by other NATO allies fighting in Afghanistan when America begins cutting its 100,000-strong force there.

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The Obama administration has not yet released details of the planned reduction in its troop numbers in Afghanistan.


Associated Press

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Afghanistan Barack Obama Robert Gates

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