December 3rd, 2009
05:20 PM ET

Gates: U.S. could transfer some security now

The first areas to be transferred to Afghan security in July 2011 - the date set in President Obama's strategy - will probably be in the least contested areas, “some of which perhaps could happen now,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday. He was speaking at the second day of Congressional hearings on Obama's Afghanistan plan, which he outlined Tuesday night.

"I think something that is important to clarify is that this is going to be a gradual process of transition, and it will probably - the transition to Afghan security responsibility - will start presumably in the least contested areas, some of which perhaps could happen now," Gates said.

A Pentagon spokesman said some of the western and northern Afghanistan provinces have good security, but that the plan is to start transferring authority in summer 2011.

The day before, Gates had noted the administration will conduct "a thorough review" of the Afghan strategy in December 2010. "If it appears that the strategy's not working, and that we are not going to be able to transition in 2011, then we will take a hard look at the strategy itself," Gates said.

More from the congressional hearings

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Dodie

    Waging a war on a specific group of people in another country will never work! We tried it in Korea and Vietnam. We are a star wars country. Ground fighting is not our expertise. These people live in this country and move between borders along with blending in. All they have to do is wait; whether, it is 2 years, 5 years or 50 years. It makes no difference. This is their lifestyle. And as far as the Afghanistan government is concerned, they are as corrupt as the Taliban. We pulled out of Afghanistan in the 1980s as we knew then, this would not work. You think for a second the government of Afghanistan trusts the US? The Afghanistan war is a no-win situation!

    If you want Bin Laden, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, look for the money trail. Look for the 'hawala' money in Saudi, Russia and India which is directly linked to terrorist financing.

    December 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |