Defense Secretary Robert Gates went to Kabul Saturday for a series of meetings with U.S. and Afghan leadership over the planned withdrawal next month. President Obama has pledged to start bringing home the 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next month. Before the meetings, Gates said the cost of war should not be a factor in the withdrawal. "I think that once you have committed, that success of the mission should override everything else because the most costly thing of all would be to fail," he said. Gates was an advocate of Obama's 2009 troop surge. At the same time, he said, "You can't be oblivious to growing war weariness at home.” Obama has appointed Leon Panetta to succeed Gates.