News

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The president noted that a total of 33,000 troops will be withdrawn by the end of the year, the full surge force he sent in 2009 to blunt Taliban advances.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.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 5
    Next 
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..
Comments page of 5
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs