The Defense Secretary, Robert Gates "hinted" thus on 10 March 2010, during a visit to a dust-blown training ground in Kabul province where Afghan soldiers come for weeks of training under US and British instruction, "but" he also said any withdrawal "would have to be conditions-based. This reminds me of our hurried helicopter exit from a tower in Saigon, while Vietcong sappers were banging on the steel doors to the security fence below. Perhaps Mr. Gates should review old movies from that era to align his prognosis to fit within the realms of modern reality? At the time of his visit, Mr. Gates said: We will begin that 'transition' no longer than July of 2011, but the pace will depend also on conditions on the ground. He also said: "We should not be too impatient."
His comments came as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, visited the country. At a press conference in Kabul he said that the US "themselves created the terrorists and now they say they are fighting terrorists." He also said: "We do not see the presence of foreign military forces in Afghanistan as a solution for peace in Afghanistan."Gates had accused Tehran of "playing a double game" in Afghanistan by trying to woo the Afghan government while under - mining US and NATO efforts by helping the Taliban. Oh the tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive: Such are promises, all lies and jest!