Robert Gates says our principle interest in Afghanistan is giving Afghanis the ability to protect its people and to prevent it from being a center of violent extremism.
On troop increases, Gates says he's had reservations on boosting forces. He's concerned the U.S. might be seen as occupiers. Stanley McChrystal viewpoint, according to Gates, is it's how the increased number of troops are used and how they are seen by Afghan people. But withdrawing from Afghanistan is out of the question, according to Gates.
How will progress be measured? Gates said when the Afghan army takes a greater role in protecting the people. In a way, it's somewhat comparable to the situation in Iraq, he said.