In an interview with the Arab network, the defense secretary rules out the notion of a near-term U.S. exit from Afghanistan:

Q: But as far as you're concerned -- and I'm just trying to make sure that I've got it right -- as far as you're concerned, what -- basically saying is that any thinking of withdrawing the U.S. military from Afghanistan -- even thinking about it, at this particular point in time, is absolutely out of the question.

SEC. GATES: That's my view.

But then, with troops in the field, what else is he going to say?