News / Europe

    Panetta: Afghan Campaign 'Succeeding' Despite Attacks

    From left: U.S. General John Allen, nominated as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, current Supreme Allied Commander Europe U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, and U.S.
    From left: U.S. General John Allen, nominated as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, current Supreme Allied Commander Europe U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, and U.S.
    Al Pessin
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says after more than 11 years the war in Afghanistan is “succeeding,” and will not be derailed by the recent series of insider attacks or any other tactic the enemy might use.

    At a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, Panetta and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen denied that allies are being defeated on the battlefield or losing resolve. It has been a difficult period for NATO and its partners in Afghanistan, with reports of a resurgent Taliban and a series of deadly attacks in which Afghan security forces turned on their NATO colleagues.
     
    Rasmussen said NATO's strategy is working, and the alliance timeline is on track for full Afghan security control next year and the withdrawal of most foreign combat forces by the end of the following year. He said troops will begin leaving in the coming months, but as part of the plan, not in a “rush to the exits.”
     
    Panetta served notice on the Taliban that it will not be able to derail the NATO plan.
     
    “As I said to my fellow ministers, we have come too far, we have fought too many battles, we have spilled too much blood not to finish the job that we are all about," he said. "Whatever tactics the enemy throws at us — IEDs [improvised explosive devices], insider attacks, car bombs — we will not allow those tactics to divide us from our Afghan partners, and we will not allow those tactics to divert us from the mission that we are dedicated to.”
     
    Panetta said the allied effort is “succeeding” and “has turned an important corner,” but is still at a “critical point.” He also said the allies and the Afghan government must stick together.
     
    “What tests the coalition is not so much the problem of insider attacks, but rather how effectively we respond to those attacks," said Panetta. "Partnering even closer will frustrate the enemy's designs to capitalize on this problem.”
     
    The defense secretary called again on his NATO colleagues to fill the shortfall in trainers for Afghan forces. Despite years of such calls, Panetta said the alliance is still 58 teams short of what it needs. The training and mentoring of Afghan forces is a key element in the NATO effort to leave a stable country behind when it withdraws most of its forces.
     
    NATO defense ministers also ordered a military planning effort to determine how many coalition troops to leave behind and for what purpose. They expect the plan to be finalized next year.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jim M from: Italy
    October 11, 2012 10:48 AM
    Sounds just like McNamara during Vietnam; end result will be the same (from someone with 4 1/2 years in Afghanistan)

    by: Michael from: Bangkok
    October 10, 2012 11:21 PM
    Right on anomyout. Maybe presidents should prohibit the defense secretary from making public statements so that they do not gain the reputation of politicians. Westmorlandish comments only make the situation worse.

    We all know Aghastastan is doomed, so Panetta only diminishes himself by telling us lies that even the deranged know are a lie. Unfortunately, the odor of mendacity clings to the clothes and is not removed with dry cleaning.

    by: Anonymot from: ct
    October 10, 2012 1:20 PM
    Why, exactly, do we get dumb people at this high level of government. I'm sure Panetta is a college grad and has a satisfactory IQ, but intelligence in a position like his means that he doesn't take everyone else for stupid. It means he recognizes that he's not in the 18th Century, but in a period where even the rather pitiful news coverage we get tells us that we were not, are not, and will not be "successful" in Afghanistan. It was Panetta under Bush who helped get us into the Middle Eastern disaster. So now he says it was wonderful. I assume he hold a lot of stock in armament manufacturers, but don't tell me idiocies such asAfghanistan was not a horrific error on the part of the Bush & Obama admins. Don't tell me that Obama picked Panetta so that the war would stop.

    We filter out brains at the level of Dog Catcher in this country. Does anyone still wonder why our society, our economy and our position in world affairs is around our ankles?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora