Gates in Iraq to forge war strategy

BAGHDAD - New US defence secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad yesterday with a mandate from President George Bush to help forge a new Iraq war strategy. He made the unannounced trip to the battle-front just two days after taking over at the Pentagon.

BAGHDAD - New US defence secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad yesterday with a mandate from President George Bush to help forge a new Iraq war strategy. He made the unannounced trip to the battle-front just two days after taking over at the Pentagon.

Gates went in pursuit of advice from his top military commanders on a new strategy for an increasingly unpopular, costly and chaotic war - one he has conceded the US is not winning. His trip so soon after taking office underscored the Bush administration's effort to be seen as energetically seeking a new path in the conflict.

"The whole purpose is to go out, listen to the commanders, talk to the Iraqis, and see what I can learn," he said. - Sapa

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