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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Secret Service Head to be Questioned Over White House Intruder

Julia Pierson will be questioned about the latest break-in well as several other embarrassing incidents involving the agency 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid