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.
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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More