May 6, 2011 12:11 PM by Gene Cotton

Pentagon chief: Bin Laden death a game-changer

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the killing of Osama bin Laden could be game-changer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan by splitting the native Taliban from the al-Qaeda terror network.

Gates took questions for about 35 minutes Friday from about 300 airmen at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina.

Gates says many Taliban feel betrayed by al-Qaeda whose attack on Sept. 11, 2001, led to the U.S. invasion that drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

The 67-year-old Gates is on his way out as defense secretary. The former CIA director under President George H.W. Bush became President George W. Bush's defense secretary in December 2006. He stayed at the Pentagon under President Barack Obama and is due to leave the position June 30.



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