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
Video of US Defense Secretary Panettai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
November 14, 2012 4:40 PM
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he has 'continued confidence' in General John Allen to remain as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, despite his connection to a scandal that forced Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus to resign.

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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid