News

    Karzai: Need for Faster Afghan Security Transition After Release of 'Disgusting' Photos

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a gathering in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012.
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a gathering in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the "disgusting" photos of U.S. soldiers posing with the dead bodies of insurgents only highlights the need for a faster foreign withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    In a statement Thursday, President Karzai said an accelerated and full transition of security responsibilities is "the only way to put an end to such painful experiences." He strongly condemned the U.S. soldiers' actions, saying it was a "inhumane and provocative" to take and share such pictures.

    The photos dating back to 2010 show members of the U.S. Army posing with the bodies of insurgents who killed themselves in suicide attacks. The Los Angeles Times (Warning: graphic images) published two of the 18 photographs on its website Wednesday.

    According to the Times, an American soldier released the pictures to the newspaper on condition of anonymity in order to draw attention to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed posed a threat to the safety of troops.

    The soldier told the newspaper that virtually all the men depicted in the photos had friends who were killed or wounded by homemade bombs or suicide attacks.

    Top U.S. and NATO officials responded to the release of the pictures with swift condemnation. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said an investigation is under way and that the individuals responsible would be held accountable.

    Panetta also voiced disappointment that the newspaper did not honor an official request not to publish the pictures. The U.S. defense secretary warned the material could be used to incite violence against U.S. and Afghan troops.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday described the conduct depicted in the photographs as "reprehensible," saying it does not in any way represent the standards of the U.S. military.

    The commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, U.S. General John Allen, also said the soldiers' actions "undermine the daily sacrifices of thousands of ISAF troops who continued to serve honorably in Afghanistan."

    Thursday, the Taliban issued a statement again asking their supporters to "get revenge from foreign forces, by attacking them across the country."

    Insurgents had launched a series of coordinated attacks earlier this week in Kabul and other eastern cities targeting Western embassies.

    The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker told reporters that there was "no question" the Pakistan-based Haqqani network was responsible. However, Pakistani observers say the U.S. claims are designed to justify drone strikes in their country.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: military mother
    April 20, 2012 7:39 AM
    To Jesus, you don't know what your talking about! please feel free to pack your bags and go live over there and let us know how it all works out when you meet up with the Taliban.

    by: Jesus
    April 19, 2012 10:43 AM
    Everyone knows the troops could give a hoot about Afghanistan. They only joined up because they want to kill people.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora