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Gates Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Capitalizes on Success

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2011 – U.S. troops have made tremendous progress in degrading the capability of the Taliban while enhancing Afghan security forces, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said following the president's announcement tonight regarding withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Below is the secretary's full statement:

"Over the past 18 months our troops have made tremendous progress degrading the capability of the Taliban while enhancing the Afghan security forces. It is critical that we continue to aggressively prosecute that strategy. I support the President’s decision because it provides our commanders with enough resources, time and, perhaps most importantly, flexibility to bring the surge to a successful conclusion."

 

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