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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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