WASHINGTON (CNN) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared Monday that the United States will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, no matter what President Barack Obama decides on immediate troop levels.
"We're not leaving Afghanistan," Gates said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour that also included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"There should be no uncertainly in terms of our determination to remain in Afghanistan and to continue to build a relationship of partnership … with the Pakistanis," Gates said. "That's a strategic objective."
Watch Amanpour's full interview with Gates and Clinton Tuesday at 3 pm ET on CNN.