U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he does not believe there will be any changes to the Afghanistan strategy after the coming review of the war’s progress this December.
“I have not gotten the sense from my conversations with people that any basic decisions or basic changes are likely to occur,” Gates told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. Although Gates added that there will likely be areas for “adjustments and tweaks.”
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, who was at the news conference with Gates, said that there signs of progress already in the strategy that included adding an additional 30,000 U.S. troops.
Gates, who has signaled his desire to retire next year, refused to say whether he plans to stay through July 2011, the month where the president has said he would like to start reducing the US troop level in Afghanistan.
Asked about his potential retirement date at a Pentagon press conference, Gates would only say that he has made up his mind whether to stay or go before July 2011.