U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Tuesday to meet with officials and deliver a pat on the back to American troops slugging it out with militants there for more than nine years.
NATO's goal of ending combat operations in Afghanistan and leaving security in local hands by the end of 2014 is realistic, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday on his second visit to the nation in 2010.
"It's challenging, but it is achievable," Cameron said. "What I see is actually some grounds for cautious optimism."
Cameron cited the continued training of the Afghan National Army and the nation's police force, noting 500 police officers are coming out of a British-run police academy every eight weeks.