Gates: US Can’t Wait for Legitimate Afghan Govt

Promises to Press NATO for Escalation During Slovakia Visit

President Barack Obama was reportedly hoping to wait until the massive fraud in August’s Afghan election gets sorted out to make his decision on how large a troop escalation to approve in Afghanistan, but that’s not going to prevent Defense Secretary Robert Gates from pressing his NATO counterparts to approve escalations of their own this week in Brataslava.

Not only that, but Secretary Gates is urging the administration to hurry up and make its decision, insisting they can’t afford to wait for the Afghan government to become legitimate.

It’s “not something that’s going to happen all of the sudden,” Gates insisted, “I believe that the president will have to make his decisions in the context of that evolutionary process.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal is reportedly seeking up to 80,000 additional troops for the conflict, and Secretary Gates is widely expected to endorse his proposal, though he has yet to publicly disclose his position.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of