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Panetta Says Polls Cannot Dictate Afghan War Strategy

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says opinion polls cannot determine the war in Afghanistan.

Panetta, attending security talks in Ottawa with Canadian and Mexican defense chiefs, says the United States would be in "deep trouble" if it fought wars by surveys.

He says the Pentagon has to operate based on what it believes is the best strategy to achieve the mission. He says the mission in Afghanistan is to safeguard U.S. security by ensuring the Taliban and al-Qaida never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan.

A New York Times/CBS News polls released Monday finds that public support for the decade-long war has dropped sharply. Sixty-nine percent of those questioned said they believe the United States should not be in Afghanistan. The survey shows that a growing number of people want President Barack Obama to speed up the pullout of combat troops from the war-torn country.

But Afghans fear that a sudden withdrawal of foreign troops could plunge the country into an all-out civil war between Afghan security forces, the Taliban and other ethnic and tribal factions.

NATO says the top commander of an al-Qaida-linked militant network was killed Monday in a firelight with coalition forces near the Afghan border with Turkmenistan.

Makhdum Nursat headed the Islamic Movement of Obeisant. NATO commanders say he was wanted for attacking coalition forces in northern Afghanistan.

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by: Haron
March 28, 2012 5:24 AM
if you four countries with Karzai defeated & kich out Nato & USA from outside Afg but don't forget that you prouded on 1 million & 800,000 troops by the name of Taliban & Al-Qaeda. the north alliances defeated them several times.now i think if USA leave suddenly i'm sure Nato, ISAF & USA will lose their moral in today powerful world like Russia lost all it's moral & stabilities. time is less but America can support those allies that they're anti-Talibanism till we stand as power

by: Haron
March 28, 2012 5:15 AM
a torn heart cry tonight. the birds are screaming & yelling tonight. sky bleeding tonight. nature is changed it's winding to ternado this night. all the grasses are intend to not grow. Hay Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan & UK. AH we lost the greatest Shah Massoud, Prof, Burhanuddin Rabani, Maulana Sayed Khili & the greatest Dawood (Dawood) otherwise you didn't have dare to talk on Afg.

by: Godwin
March 28, 2012 5:05 AM
Once there is a truth coming from the Pentagon. But another important truth that should be told is why US army, originally thought to be very powerful, is afraid to provoke its enemies. Is the US using civilians in the war fronts? Are all the American soldiers spineless cissies? Do Americans understand what soldiering entails? Or do U have the army just as an employment outfit so that if a soldier gets hurt, the whole nation rises with placards. Education: wars and their importance

by: Nader
March 28, 2012 4:54 AM
Well, so, l thought, that we may have to burry the US contitution under the White House some fateful day but now the Pentagon appears to be competing for the dishonor as well.
The "Conquestadors" spreading Christianity and the Pentagon dictating "Democracy", Wow, Wow, Yo Yo Yo, Man O Man.

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