“Obviously it would be a small fraction of the presence that we have today, but I think we’re willing to do that,” AP quoted Gates as saying in a speech before a group of US troops at Bagram air field, which is the headquarters for US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan.
The Pentagon chief flew into Kabul on Monday to assess the US-led war amid tensions with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the increasing number of civilian deaths in the country.
“The civilian casualties are a main cause of worsening the relationship between Afghanistan and the US,” a statement from the Afghan presidency quoted Karzai as saying on Sunday.
Gates also plans to hold talks with Karzai as well as top US commander General David Petraeus.
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