March 8th, 2010
07:49 AM ET
5 years ago

Gates in Afghanistan on unannounced visit

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, talks with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry in Kabul Monday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, talks with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry in Kabul Monday.

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Afghanistan on Monday morning on an unannounced visit, as NATO-led coalition forces are pressing an offensive in the nation's south.

Gates was scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Coalition forces are battling Taliban fighters around the town of Marjah in southern Helmand province.

Dubbed Operation Moshtarak, the offensive was launched in February by an international coalition of 15,000 troops, including Afghans, Americans, Britons, Canadians, Danes and Estonians.

Gates told reporters that he was going to Afghanistan to "get an update on the campaign, not only in Marjah but the next steps as we look to spring, summer and fall."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Robert Gates
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    I suppose that when that little McCarthyite, Liz Cheney, hears that Gates went to Afghanistan, that she will accuse him of meeting with foreigners, and call him anti American.

    March 8, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. SecDef

    I wish we could assassinate Ahmadinejad while he's in Afghanistan.

    March 8, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. Malik

    Finally you in the press get this right

    for the last few years it's a surprise visit

    March 8, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Gil Oberdas

    All we need to know is that the Taliban are Afghanistan Freedom Fighters who have been fighting for 120 years to rid their country of foreign troops.

    March 8, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. buckwheat

    Well it ain't like going to Miami Beach exactly no how.

    March 8, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. From A Soldier .... a Democrat ...

    As our Commander-in-Chief, a portion of the Presidential duties that certain unnamed people tried to convince the American public he wasn't qualified to handle, President Barack Hussien Obama has redirected our military forces to Afghanistan and Pakistan and away from the faux WMD threat in Iraq.

    At the direction of the President, Predator and UCAV unmanned air vehicles have been systematically used since 1/20/2009 to put a hurting on the Taliban and al Queda. In the past 2 months, key top leaders in these organizations have been eliminated or captured.

    Great Results ... Great Leadership Mr. President. I am proud to have you as my Commander-in-Chief, Sir

    March 8, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Gary

    Gates is great....keeps America on track. He continued the same withdrawl plan from Iraq as Bush. Willing to consider longer term troops in Iraq if requested. Stepped up Drone bombings in Pakistan. Willing to let Pakistan do the torturing of Al Queada. Supported the surge in Afghanistan. Engaging Al Queada in Yemen and Somolia. Taking a firm stand against Iran's weapons program. Kept Gitmo open, not releasing more prisoners. Gonna move the trials of the 911 planners back to military courts. GATES HAS BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF AMERICAN'S INTEREST IN THE WAR ON TERROR AND HAS HELPED MAKE US SAFER!!!!!

    Its not about Bush or Obama being right or wrong, it's about consistently making the right (but difficult) choices in a messy war for our survival. I do feel safer with Gates as Sec of Defense.

    Gates in 2012!!!!! (as an independant, lol)

    March 8, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. sifto77

    never mind this story, CNN...people want to know the truth about Sen Massa–why are the Dems targeting him and not others? Could it be the Health care vote? His "indescretion" seems silly and why are the dems acting anti–gay?

    March 8, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |