Gates denies large-scale troop pullout set
Sunday, June 20, 2021 4:21 PM

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Gates, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," was responding to a question about Vice President Joe Biden's being quoted in Jonathan Alter's new book "The Promise" as saying, "In July 2011 you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it."

"That absolutely has not been decided," Gates said.

The defense chief said he expected the recent spike in U.S. casualties in Afghanistan and complained "there's a rush to judgment" that fails to take into account progress.

"It is a tough pull and we are suffering significant casualties," he said. "We expected that. We warned everybody that would be the case last winter, that as we went into areas that the Taliban had controlled for two or three years that our casualties would grow, especially this summer."

He pointed out less than a third of the 30,000 additional troops President Obama pledged as part of the surge have not been sent to Afghanistan.

"We are still in the middle of getting all of the right components into place," Gates said.

Troops will begin withdrawing in July 2011 but the pace will depend on Afghanistan's readiness to take over government, security and policing, Gates said.

(Source: UPI )
 

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