News / USA

Panetta Orders Military Ethics Review

Luis Ramirez
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the recent spate of scandals involving top U.S. generals is not a systemic problem in the upper echelons of the military.  However, he has ordered a review of the military's ethics training. 
Investigations into the actions of several generals this year, including Afghanistan commander General John Allen and retired General David Petraeus, have prompted a review to find out why so many top officers have been accused of misconduct. 
In an exclusive interview with the Voice of America, Defense Secretary Panetta suggests the problems are isolated, but says a cleanup is necessary. 
“Obviously, I'm concerned about some of these recent events but I don't think we're dealing with a systemic problem. I think we're dealing with some individual issues that all kind of came together at the same time.  Having said that, we're coming out of 10 years of war and I really do think that it's probably important that we begin to look again at how we can make sure that we maintain the highest ethical standards," he said. 
Panetta's trip is intended to boost military ties with Southeast Asian nations as part of the Pentagon's new focus on the Pacific.  
That involves building the defense capacity of partner nations, like Thailand.  
At a time when the U.S. defense budget faces signficant cuts, there are questions as to whether Washington can make good on its commitments to its partners in the Asia-Pacific region. 
“The first thing that I assure them of is that the United States has been the strongest military power in the world, that we are the strongest military power in the world, and that we will always be the strongest military power in the world; that even in light of the budget reductions that we've gone through that we've established a strategy for the United States in terms of our defense force for the 21st century that will make sure that we remain the strongest military force in the future," he said. 
The U.S. is highlighting its policy in the coming days with a full-force presence in the region: Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are stopping here in Thailand and in Cambodia ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama next week. 

Watch the full interview with Secretary Panetta

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Comment Sorting
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 19, 2012 7:19 AM
Hahaha, holding the biggest military is far from pride but the most ashamed matter for the modern democratic, humanitarian countries. Why is it the matter worth while declareing loud as proud to have weapons to kill people? You Panetta should evolve! You should learn from Suu Kyi. Do you think Suu Kyi takes it proud for Burma to have the biggest military in the world?

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 19, 2012 6:57 AM
Most of us Asian people perhaps don't welcome America. Anywhere America comes, fire, conflicts, killing and war break out. Why? I hope you American people do think about it deeply. We Asian people live peacefully now even with some struggles among us because we have ability to solve them by ourselves. I'm not always behind China but I agree in this point that the third country is not welcome to interfere with foreign countries' affairs holding the flag of claiming hypocritical justice concealing Amrica's selfishness aimig at its own interests and profit. We don't welcom the reenactment of Vietnam war.

by: Bill from: California
November 17, 2012 8:38 AM
GREAT!! Next it will be the sex police, or the society for the prevention of vice. I think some people have been in public service too long and are losing their minds.

by: david lulasa aka daudee m from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
November 16, 2012 3:55 AM
just the way adultery has been understood as a persons own problem and not a big deal,thats the perspective homosexuality has been perceaved and even let to go on freely even in the army..but we never kill gay people,even thieves!!.


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