By Daniel Dombey
The heat bore down in Kandahar province and in the relative safety of two military bases the Pentagon chief saw the state of the Afghan war for himself. Dressed in chinos and a baseball cap, Robert Gates was a day tripper with a difference.
His soft, careful speaking style and the way in which he posed for photos with almost every US soldier who crossed his path gave little clue of the defence secretary’s influence in Washington and his beliefs about the conflict itself. But he most definitely matters. Read more