Gates warns NATO against race to exits in Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, June 9 Thu Jun 9, 2011 8:03am EDT

BRUSSELS, June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday a "rush to the exits" in Afghanistan would jeopardize military progress there and called for a deliberate transition to Afghan security control.

Gates, speaking ahead of the start of President Barack Obama's planned troop drawdown in Afghanistan next month, told his NATO counterparts there would be no hasty withdrawal by the United States and Washington expected the same coordinated approach by its allies.