US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday it was too early to set a date for the eventual withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan.
“We would all like to have a situation in which our mission in Afghanistan has been completed and we can bring our troops home. I do not see that happening anytime in the near future,” Gates told a news conference with his French counterpart, Herve Morin.
“I think it’s impossible to put a date on when you might firmly say all the troops are coming out,” Gates said.
The defense chief said a review of US strategy now underway was examining the goals of the Afghan mission and how progress towards those objectives could be measured.
“And I think we will have a much better idea of the way forward, at least as far as the United States is concerned, when that review is complete,” Gates said.