KABUL, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- On a surprise visit to Afghanistan Thursday,
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Pentagon would pledge three more combat
brigades to the strife-torn country by the summer of 2009.
Gates flew to the riot southern Afghan province of Kandahar and would meet
with military leaders from both the U.S.-led Coalition forces and the NATO-led
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said officials from the
The Defense Secretary told newsmen traveling with him aboard the plane that
Pentagon is moving to get three of the four combat brigades requested by
commanders into Afghanistan by next summer, adding that "we will not have to cut
troop levels further in Iraq to free up at least two of those three brigades for
Gates, as the top gunman for U.S. president-elect Barack Obama, said in
November that Washington wanted to send additional 20,000 troops to Afghanistan
among which 3,500-strong soldiers of one brigade will be deployed in the capital
city of Kabul next January for enhancing security of the coming Afghan
More than 30,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in post-Taliban Afghanistan
fighting against militant activities and helping with reconstruction.