June 9th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

Gates: Signs of progress needed by this winter

The U.S. and coalition countries will have to show signs of progress in Afghanistan by this winter or risk losing the support of the public, said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday.

"I think that it is probably a reality that in virtually all of the coalition countries the publics are going to expect to see some progress this winter, some sign that we are moving in the right direction. I think that the voters are sophisticated enough to know that we’re not going to be done, they’re won’t be victory and that we still have a long road to hoe," he said in London ahead of meetings with NATO allies. "The one thing that I think none of the publics, and I would say including the American public, will tolerate is the perception of a stalemate in which we’re losing young men."

Last December, President Obama outlined a strategy for Afghanistan that would begin to bring U.S. forces home in July 2011, but with no definite date on when the last troops would leave.

He also addressed the Taliban: "At this point the Taliban are part of the political fabric of  Afghanistan and to adopt a strategy that basically says we're going to eliminate the Taliban I think is unrealistic."

Listen to more from Gates as he discusses the tough summer ahead in Kandahar, the Taliban and the recent attack on a NATO convoy in Pakistan.

Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Pentagon
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. In Kabul

    My headquarters in Afghanistan is responsible fo rtraining the Afghan Army and Police. We've seen some progress in the last six months. You can see more on our website at: ( http://www.NTM-A.com )

    June 15, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Iraq Paramedic

    May GOD bless & keep all the men & women in harms way & keep them safe & bring them home soon.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      And may God help stop this senseless war and find a peace that everyone can live with!!!!!

      June 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dianne -- Connecticut

    If Gates thinks to eliminate the Taliban is unrealistic then why not "GET OUT NOW" Surely we can protect our own country with our Troops home where they belong!!

    June 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ED4

      The goal is to try & prevent Afganistan from becoming again a staging ground for 9/11 type attacks. Getting rid of the Taliban would be nice but not mandatory.

      June 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      I totallt agree.

      June 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • djohnson

      Karzai has been reported to start on the side talks with the Taliban. Good let him do that take care of his country and send the troops home.

      June 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |