U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates got a security update from his
top commander of the war in Afghanistan during a secret meeting in
Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell Monday said Gates wanted to hear about
an interim security report from General Stanley McChrystal, the top
U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
Reports surfaced last week that advisers to General McChrystal say he
will need more troops to stabilize Afghanistan. The recommended surge
would be in addition to an order to nearly double the U.S. troop
presence to 68,000 by the end of this year.
Gates has expressed reluctance to approve the deployment of additional
U.S. troops in Afghanistan. McChrystal's final report is due in about
U.S., NATO and Afghan forces are facing an upsurge in militant attacks
ahead of elections set for August 20. July was the deadliest month for
U.S. and other foreign forces in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led mission
to oust the Taliban government in 2001.