News / USA

Panetta Calls for Substantial Post-2014 Presence in Afghanistan

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak presents Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with a model replica of an Iron Dome Missile Defense rocket during their joint news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak presents Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with a model replica of an Iron Dome Missile Defense rocket during their joint news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez
— U.S. Defense officials say they have not decided how many troops to maintain in Afghanistan after a general pullout in 2014, but U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the remaining presence should be substantial.  
 
Panetta says the remaining terrorist threats from al-Qaida and others, as well as the need for continued training of Afghan forces, means the U.S. will have to keep a number of troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
 
Panetta spoke Thursday at a joint news conference after meeting with Israeli Defense Secretary Ehud Barak at the Pentagon. 
 
“The fundamental mission in Afghanistan is to establish an Afghanistan that can be secure and govern itself and ensure that al-Qaida never again finds a safe haven within Afghanistan from which to conduct attacks on the United States or any other country.  The goal here is an enduring presence," he said. 
 
Panetta said allied forces have had an impact on al-Qaida, but he said intelligence reports show the group continues to appear in Afghanistan and is looking for ways to expand its capabilities there. 
 
U.S. Defense officials say they are in the process of determining how many troops to keep in the country after 2014, and they expect to make a decision in the coming weeks.  
 
Panetta met for about an hour with Israeli Defense Minister Barak.  The two praised U.S.-Israeli cooperation in setting up the so-called Iron Dome missile defense system that Israel says protected its citizens from hundreds of rocket strikes during the recent escalation of violence in Gaza. 
 
The United States this year contributed $70 million to that system, in addition to $205 million it already had committed. Panetta said he will work to secure more funding in the future.
 
The visit came after Barak recently announced his retirement from politics.  He and Secretary Panetta exchanged gifts.  Panetta gave Barak a distinguished service award and a framed, signed photo of the two at a recent visit to an Iron Dome battery site in Israel.  Barak gave Panetta a miniature model of a missile. 

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: V0L1T10N from: San Diego, CA
November 30, 2012 3:05 PM
A couple of years ago Panetta was asked about the number of al-Qaeda members residing in Afghanistan and the bordering region of Pakistan. His estimate was ~ 500 members. By continuing the military action in Afghanistan against a criminal network, our action is equivalent to exterminating the cockroaches with the fire thrower. It is more likely that we will burn down the house rather than killing the cockroaches. Not so recent RAND corporation study concluded that terrorism needs to be handled via the police operations and political reconciliations. Our government does not accept this because we have too many, otherwise unused, bombs and missiles and the military contractors wanting to make even more in exchange for a lucrative government contract.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid