News / USA

    Panetta Warns Against Early Conclusions in Allen Case

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks during a news conference at the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in Perth, Australia, November 14, 2012.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks during a news conference at the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in Perth, Australia, November 14, 2012.
    Luis Ramirez
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is cautioning against early conclusions in the case of U.S. commander in Afghanistan General John Allen, who is under investigation for allegedly having inappropriate communication with a woman linked to the David Petraeus sex scandal.

    Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to the Australian coastal city of Perth to boost a longstanding alliance. The two reached new agreements with Australian officials on space cooperation and held discussions on the rotation of hundreds of U.S. Marines to Australia.

    Much of the focus at a joint news conference Wednesday, though, was on the case of General John Allen, who is under investigation for possibly inappropriate communication with Jill Kelley, a woman linked to the sex scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus.  

    Addressing the issue

    Responding to a reporters' question, Panetta made his first remarks about the case since announcing the investigation of the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

    “No one should leap to any conclusions here. General Allen is doing an excellent job at ISAF in leading those forces," said Panetta. "He certainly has my continued confidence to lead our forces and to continue the fight. But his nomination has been put on hold as a prudent measure until we determine what the facts are.”

    Clinton declined to comment on the case, but she commended Allen's record. She said there has been conversation about the allegations, but suggested the case has not affected the allied forces' mission in Afghanistan.  

    U.S. giving Syria more humanitarian aid

    Clinton announced the United States is providing $30 million in additional humanitarian aid to Syrians affected by the fighting there, bringing the total to $200 million. She praised the recent formation of a new Syrian opposition coalition against the government of Bashar al-Assad, saying the Obama administration has long called for this kind of organization.

    “We will be prepared to work with them to deliver assistance to the Syrian people," said Clinton. "So, [it is a] good beginning, highly welcomed by us and others, and we want to see the steps taken that have been promised. And we stand ready to assist this new opposition in standing itself up and representing the Syrian people to the regime and the international community.”

    Clinton stopped short of recognizing the coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, as France did earlier this week.   

    Watch related video of Panetta

    U.S., Australia bolster alliance

    U.S. and Australian officials reached an agreement Wednesday to place a radar in Australia to track space debris, and said talks are under way for an advanced U.S. space surveillance telescope on Australian territory.  

    They also discussed the recent rotation of U.S. Air Force personnel and 250 U.S. Marines to northern Australia and said the exercise will be repeated next year. The United States hopes to eventually increase the Marines' rotation to 2,500 troops.  

    The moves are part of the United States' new defense strategy, which calls for a rebalance of forces to the Asia-Pacific region.   

    Both Clinton and Panetta head to southeast Asia next and will attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.  President Obama is scheduled to be in the region next week.

    Timeline of the Petraeus Scandal
    Loading...

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 10:39 AM
    Jill Kelly and Paula Broadwell may jeopardise Obama's Presidency.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora