June 9, 2011 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday urged more NATO allies to join the air campaign against Libya, arguing that it was putting a strain on the seven members of the 28-nation alliance that are carrying the burden in a conflict that shows few signs of ending soon, U.S. officials said. In a sign of the growing strain that the 3-month-old operation is putting on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Gates took the unusual step of naming five alliance members with limited or no role in the operation that he said should provide strike aircraft to hit ground targets in Libya or other capabilities, according to a senior U.S. official.
June 2, 2011 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday dismissed as "garbage" reports that a senior Marine general was passed over to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because of his back-channel role in the 2009 administration debate on sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Speaking to reporters on his way to a security conference in Singapore, Gates denied that Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was not chosen as chairman because he helped White House aides develop options for sending fewer troops to Afghanistan than the number favored by Gates and other top Pentagon officials.
April 22, 2011 |
President Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drone aircraft to launch airstrikes against ground targets in Libya, the latest sign of mounting concern in Washington that the NATO-led air campaign has failed to stop Moammar Kadafi's forces from shelling the besieged city of Misurata and other populated areas. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who announced the decision at a Pentagon news conference, said Predators armed with Hellfire missiles would be used to augment airstrikes by warplanes from other North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations against the intensifying attacks by forces loyal to Kadafi.
March 27, 2011 |
Top Obama administration officials predicted that Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's regime may crack from within, as allied warplanes, resurgent rebels and the international community put more pressure on Tripoli. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in appearances on Sunday talk shows, said they had received indications that some officials close to Kadafi might be ready to abandon him. "We have a lot of evidence that people around him are reaching out," Clinton said on NBC's "Meet the Press.
March 20, 2011 |
President Obama, traveling in Brazil, met with senior national security officials on a conference call Sunday morning to discuss the opening hours of the international military campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi. U.S. and European forces struck Libyan air defenses and other targets starting Saturday, using warships and fighter jets. On Sunday, U.S., French and British forces continued blasting military targets . Obama talked at 9:30 a.m. with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough and Gen. Carter Ham, head of the U.S. military operations in Africa, the White House said.
March 7, 2011 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Monday that the U.S. and its allies were on track to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July as promised, even as he sought to tamp down tensions with President Hamid Karzai over continuing civilian casualties. Though violence has been spiraling upward in several regions of Afghanistan recently, Gates said his talks with American commanders and Afghan officials had strengthened his confidence that the U.S. would be able to carry out President Obama's pledge to begin troop pullouts later this year.