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Gates In Afghanistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and with U.S. military commanders to assess the country’s security needs. President Karzai says Afghans are committed to defeating Taleban insurgents and their al-Qaida allies:

“The Afghan people and the international partners of us, the United States, NATO, are ready to give terrorism [terrorists] a serious blow when they come. And we want them to come and get defeated.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Gates says Taleban insurgents must not be allowed to threaten the progress Afghanistan has made:

“I think it is important for us to take the initiative in dealing with security threats, that we act together on this, and if the commanders in the field believe that more forces are required to do that, then I certainly would be strongly inclined to recommend that to the president.”

The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, says Taleban attacks have risen sharply and he expects attacks in southern Afghanistan to increase over the next few months. Secretary of Defense Gates says the U.S. and its allies must act decisively:

"There is no question that there has been a significant increase, I do not know the exact amount, but a significant increase in attacks from across the border and particularly North and South Waziristan. And that is a problem."

Mr. Gates says Pakistan’s cooperation is important in meeting the threat from “al-Qaida networks operating on the Pakistani side of the border”:

“Pakistan is one of America’s strongest allies in the war on terror, and we will continue working with the Pakistanis to see if there is a way that we can begin to reduce the violence coming from that side of the border.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, “Success in Afghanistan is our top priority.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.