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Obama Vows Full Force of Law for Afghan Shooting Suspect

President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012.
President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012.

President Barack Obama says he will make sure there is full accountability for the shooting rampage, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. Army sergeant, that killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan.  

Mr. Obama spent about two minutes at the beginning of a longer statement about new U.S. actions with key partners on China trade practices to stress his determination to ensure a full investigation and full accountability for the killings.

He said the United States takes the matter "as seriously as if it were our own citizens and own children who were murdered."  The killing of innocent civilians, he added, "is outrageous and unacceptable" and does not represent "who we are as a country" or represent the U.S. military.

Mr. Obama offered this assurance to Americans and the Afghan people. "I can assure the American people and the Afghan people that we will follow the facts wherever they lead us, and we will make sure that anybody who was involved is held fully accountable with the full force of the law," he said.

President Obama said he met Tuesday with the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, and the commander of U.S. and international forces, Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Allen, who are in Washington.  Mr. Obama said he has "extraordinary confidence" in them and in American forces in Afghanistan.

President Obama mentioned that he and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron would be discussing what he called "the way forward" in Afghanistan.

Panjwai district, Kandahar, Afghanistan
Panjwai district, Kandahar, Afghanistan
Mr. Obama made a point of addressing his remarks to Americans who recent public opinion surveys show are increasingly opposed to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. "Make no mistake.  We have a strategy that will allow us to responsibly wind down this war.  We are steadily transitioning to the Afghans who are moving into the lead.  And that is going to allow us to bring our troops home," he said.

The president noted that a total of 33,000 troops will be withdrawn by the end of the year, the full surge force he sent in 2009 to blunt Taliban advances. There are about 91,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with another 34,000 to 37,000 NATO forces.

In a CNN interview on Monday, General Allen said there is no contemplation of "any form of an accelerated drawdown" of troops ahead of the 2014 NATO target to end its combat role in Afghanistan.

President Obama said on Tuesday that although there is no doubt the United States and its partners face a "difficult challenge," the work of devastating al-Qaida's leadership and denying the terrorist group safe haven will continue.

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by: Abdullah
March 19, 2012 3:14 AM
Well miss marry you are awfully wrong as you think that without US assistance Afghans or any other nations that you support financially will starve to death if you don't assist them mam we are in 2012 wake up the US came to us in search of fuel and other unjust needs to take illegal hold of our assets we did not come to USA neither do we need to.

by: Mary
March 14, 2012 4:24 AM
It is awful what happened and I blame the USA government that man that did the shootings was sick 3 tours in IRAQ before afghanistan. We need to bring our troops home and protect our borders. Let the Afganistan people take care of thierselves. We need to cut off all aid to all mid-eastern countries. Open our oul fields and quit buying thier oil and watch them starve to death.

by: Yasin
March 14, 2012 3:00 AM
I think US needs to pay attention to Afgan aspirations. US should ask about plans of future. US should make sure itself that Afgan people don't want US troops to be part of their land or their life. they seem not to be excited about US troops. I suggest leaving Afgan Land before happening US troops will fall many victims in there. US should make a good decision for its troops it's not to take oil but US should pay a budget a million dollar to cost it's war.

by: G. Haqbayan
March 14, 2012 2:17 AM
The people of Afghanistan are an extremely sad on the heartbreaking massacre by American troops.
America troops must consider to the sensation of Afghan with much dignity, and stop further animosity with innocent Afghans. Who will not to tolerate anymore.

by: Afgan Patriot
March 13, 2012 10:02 PM
The only solution to prevent those killings from happening again is that the US troops must walk out of our country right away. They have come uninvited

by: Eagle Kiss 2
March 13, 2012 7:22 PM
All of them are just victims of these absurd wars. I suggest President Obama not to use the “full force” against the young boy, but against whatever that causes the wars, including the enemies of the US.

by: Eagle Kiss 1
March 13, 2012 7:22 PM
I cannot understand why American solders have to be there. Let Afganistan and the rest of the region solve their own problems. If they act against the US, destroy them all. If they collude with other countries against the US, nuke them all. But don’t be there. If they use their oil as a weapon, use our own weapons against them. But don’t be there. Poor our young men and women. I sympathize with the victims of the snapped soldier, but I also sympathize with him.

by: Roger C
March 13, 2012 2:56 PM
just think if Obama took this stance on wall street criminals and congressmen!

by: Ba SaiGon
March 13, 2012 2:53 PM
No doubt that Mr.Obama is right, Uncle Sam is need for this world!

by: Head injuries dont make you want to slaughter children and burn them.
March 13, 2012 12:35 PM
The moral and criminal misdeeds fall on the heads that send these kids to war. What would this guy do in America if let loose? - How many would he kill in a fit? How crazy do you have to be to murder children? Is this how they train modern day warriors? He killed unarmed women and children - no excuse can be made about this - this was well beyond an accident..
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