Pentagon chief calls for a balanced military

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chief of the Pentagon says the U.S. can win its wars with a combination of military might and creative tactics to both coax and confound an enemy.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke today of the need for a mix of high-end bombers, cyber-tactics and missile defense. But he also urged patience, saying it will take "quiet successes over a long time" to defeat extremists.

Gates said a key part of that involves build up America's allies, by bolstering their governments and training their security forces.

He spoke to a class at the National Defense University in Washington.

Gates also said the lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan show that the Defense Department has to move faster -- and overcome its often-sluggish bureaucracy. As examples, he pointed to the lengthy struggles to get mine-resistant vehicles to Iraq, as well as effective countermeasures for deadly roadside bombs.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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