US negotiating security deal with Afghans
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (KABC) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. is beginning to decide what its responsibilities will be in Afghanistan after combat troops leave.
Gates is in Afghanistan for a two-day visit to get a first-hand feel for changes on the ground since he was last in the country in December.
President Hamid Karzai said he wants U.S. military support, but Gates ruled out permanent military bases in the strategically important country.
Gates says both the U.S. and Afghan governments agree on continued, but reduced American military involvement in Afghanistan after the planned 2014 end of combat operations.
At a news conference with Karzai, Gates said a team of U.S. officials would arrive here next week to begin negotiations over a new compact for U.S.-Afghan security relations after 2014, when all international combat forces are supposed to be gone.
U.S. forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001, and President Barack Obama has repeatedly said the war is not open-ended.
This week's visit is Gates' 13th trip to Afghanistan, and probably one of his last as defense secretary. He has said he will retire this year but has not given a date.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
department of defense, afghanistan war, world news
- Overturned big rig shuts lanes on 91 East
- Men w/ stolen passports on jet 'not terrorists'
- Prosecutor: OC couple's murder not about money
- Suspect arrested in Hollywood severed head case
- Remains of Hollywood Park racehorse exhumed
- Montclair hit-run kills woman, injures teen
- Amber Alert canceled; LB boy found safe
- Man found dead in ransacked Westmont home
- Sandy Hook gunman's father breaks silence
- abcnews: Convicted murderer of 7 awarded nearly $500K
- Colorado collects $2M in recreational pot taxes
- Parents distracted by devices, study says
- Justin Bieber gets mad in deposition video
- Photos: 'Bachelor' Juan Pablo kisses 5 contestants