Gates in southern Afghanistan as two-day trip continues
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is escorted by Afghan Chief of Staff Lt. General Shir Mohammad Karimi.
March 8th, 2011
10:35 AM ET

Gates in southern Afghanistan as two-day trip continues

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan Tuesday morning as he continued his two-day trip to the country, meeting with senior officers and Afghan leaders.

Gates' visit is his 13th to Afghanistan since he became defense secretary in 2006.

He last traveled to the embattled country three months ago, in December 2010. He has said he prefers to make quarterly tours to monitor the war effort, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

On Monday, Gates offered his personal apology to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for the killings of nine Afghan boys last week in a NATO-led helicopter attack targeting insurgents, saying the incident "breaks our hearts."

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Filed under: Gates • State of Afghanistan • Troops
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. pamiri

    It is good that you mentioned the name of Kunduz, very good point, you who is living in Kunduz? There is some Pashtuns, which deployed by the past brutal regimes, such, during Zaher time kingship, before him during brutal Nader time, before him during brutal Abdurhaman time and recently during Dowood, Najeeb times they had been supported by the regime of that time under the politics of deploying Pashtuns around the north province, to get easy control of other ethnics like Uzbek, Tajik and Hazaras. Now look! I mentioned this just to add and enrich your information. Not only Kunduz , but also in Faryab, Jowzjan and Saripul and Palkh provinces where the mentioned Pashtuns from south and east of the country deployed to the north, the insurgency activities is active there, even if there is a single village of Pashtuns exist, they try to destroy the country and the infrastructures, although the president is the Pashtun, but why they are fighting think it in very calm and cool mind then you will get the result. I think they cannot think about anything else, without fighting, killing, suicide bombing, destroying schools, clinics, they like to be illiterate than get education, but there is the hand of Pakistan behind these all, I want from all those they think and do well work and activities for their countries and want for other countries and living as human being try to be adoptable, not to be restrict on our own thinking even its wrong,

    March 9, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. pamiri

    Lets think rationally, Why Taliban is active in tribal areas where there is no formal law, just they are more relying on customary laws, both sides of the border of Pak-AFG, were most of Pashtuns are living there. even since Taliban (Alqaeda) have done many efforts to depoly the Taliban in northern province, but due the lack of support from the people and villagers they can not survive there, and obliged to escape from north back to south and east, in north most of people are Tajik , Uzbek and Hazaras which do not like Taliban and their barbarism and brutality. now you think this issue in a ractional way!

    March 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Yacobi –
      Al-Jazeera showed a positive report for the americans. They are giving jobs to Taliban after they surrended paying them 40 dollars a day. I hope Taliban could make a deal and reach a peace, because I don't want to see other people and children killed. Americans are evil, but they are stronger.
      What do you think about it ?

      March 9, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard the Lionheart

      Stuff you fake "authority" and "mystery" code. You have NO right to tell or even suggest to Pamiri (or ANYONE else on the planet) what to do. YOU stop. You and your fetid ilk reek of evil. Look u p "fetid."

      March 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Yacobi has the right to correct false statements as I am doing too. We are not slaves of anyone.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Daryosh Khorasani

    Keep in mind that Taliban are considered to be Talib at night and Civilians at daylight.Almost all Pashtuns are Talib even Karzai.They are away from democracy and human right hundreds year away.USA shouldnt spend much on Pashtuns who are identical to Alkaida and Extremist insurgents

    March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      2% of pashtuns are Taliban, but almost all Pashtun are targeted by Taliban and US, so they hate both.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        You think you know everything don't you salerno? Like Daryosh said most Taliban are Pashtun and tell me where you get that percentage from? Are you an insider of the Taliban that you would know such things? Also I doubt very much that the Taliban target the Pashtuns and if the Pashtuns are not out in a war zone firing their weapons on NATO or ANA forces they surely would not be targeted by our forces! And tell me then what does the 98% remaining Taliban consist of?

        March 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Just relax Dan, do not stress any longer your sick brain. He did not tell mostTaliban are Pashtun, but most Pashtun are Taliban, and I corrected only 2%. Do not forget your pill.

        March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. andrew lubin

    It's about time he made it to Marinestan where the American presence is both welcomed and effective.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan from Chicago, IL

    I'll just keep praying for the ANA, NATO, ISI and Pakistani forces to have swift and overwhelming victories over insurgents and terrorists that are only doing the devils work!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • pamiri

      Also ANA needs to be clean up from those, who are from border areas of Pak-AFG and do the activities to support Alqaeda than support Afghan people and most of the key positions occupied by those through Karzai's support

      March 10, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Betty Spinner

    In light of recent civilian casualities and the upcoming "spring campaign", it's important that the United States continue to strengthen their relationship with the Aghan leadership. Secretary Gates' visit is vital to keeping communication open. Listening is just as important as being heard.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      So he offered his apologies, but in the main time is planning new civilians killing through the "spring campaign". Interesting.
      So I was correct calling him hypocrital !

      March 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        Your high on yourself! The Taliban will be decimated this spring!

        March 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        So new civilians killing as I said. Take your medicine ! (and keep praying so we 'll have another hearthquake)

        March 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |

        Salerno don't worry Afghans understand that Americans sins are unpardonable and these apologies cannot make any difference. Here every one consider Americans responsible for their miseries in daily life therefore you see neither President of USA nor this Gate dare to to declare their visits in advance any where in Afghanistan. This is just a media show to deceive Americans while on ground despite decade long occupation these big one move under the shadows of Tanks and Apache Helicopters. US Generals in Afghanistan have already predicted rise in spring offensives therefore this year comparatively may prove more deadly for Americans and innocent civilians as in suicide tactics, one man usually causing huge losses.

        March 10, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Sangaryar- I hope they will kill many americans if they are attacked, but the americans will retaliate against civilians including women and children killing even non-Taliban. This is the problem with the Nazi.

        March 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. salerno

    Hypocrite ! He should offer American apologies ! If he offered just "personsl" apologies and he was sincere he should resign !
    Useless man !

    March 8, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • AlexanderTheGreat

      Takes one to know one.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |