Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is scheduled to retire June 30, visited Afghanistan for a farewell tour and met with coalition troops in bases around the country. Gates said troops were about to deliver a “decisive blow” to the Taliban and that they were preparing to “turn a corner” in the nearly decade-old conflict.
As he prepares to leave office, Gates is facing pressure from within elements of the Obama administration to speed up the pace of troop withdrawals, scheduled to begin in July, but said at this juncture it is necessary to maintain the pressure on the Taliban.
There are roughly 100,000 U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan.
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