News

US: No Change in Afghan Strategy After Shooting Spree

Afghan men investigate the site of a shooting incident in Kandahar province, March 11, 2012
Afghan men investigate the site of a shooting incident in Kandahar province, March 11, 2012

As the U.S. military investigates the shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. soldier, the White House is emphasizing the importance of pressing ahead with President Barack Obama's overall strategy and timetable in Afghanistan.

The house-to-house shooting spree, allegedly by a U.S. Army staff sergeant, was the latest blow to an already fragile U.S.-Afghanistan relationship.

In his telephone call on Sunday to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Obama called the incident tragic and shocking, adding that it did not represent the "exceptional character" of the U.S. military or the "respect that the U.S. has for the people of Afghanistan."

Watch a related report by Luis Ramirez

The incident came only a few weeks after apparently accidental burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.  The deadly demonstrations that followed resulted in the shooting deaths of six U.S. soldiers by Afghan counterparts.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday referred to the U.S. military's investigation.  After the Quran burning incident last month, President Obama apologized to Afghanistan's people.  And Carney said America's overall strategy remains on track.

"I am sure there will be discussions ongoing between U.S. military leaders as well as civilian leaders in Afghanistan and the Afghan government in the wake of this incident.  But our strategic objectives have not changed and they will not change," Carney said.

Carney said the situation in Afghanistan is difficult, with significant challenges for U.S. troops.  But, he said, U.S. and NATO forces are there to enhance American security interests by disrupting, dismantling and ultimately defeating al-Qaida.

The United States and its NATO partners have set 2014 as the target date for ending their combat mission in Afghanistan, while seeking to turn over security responsibilities to Afghan government forces more quickly before then.

Asked whether President Obama is concerned that the latest incident places Americans in Afghanistan in jeopardy, Carney said Mr. Obama is always very concerned about the welfare and well-being of U.S. civilians and members of the military.

Pentagon spokesman George Little called the shooting incident "deplorable," but said such incidents are isolated.  He said the United States will pursue what he called "accountability actions" to the fullest extent, but stressed continuity in the Afghan war effort.

"The reality is that our fundamental strategy is not changing.  There has been a series of troubling incidents recently, but no one should think that we are steering away from our partnership with the Afghan people, from our partnership with the Afghan national security forces, and from our commitment to prosecute the war effort," Little said.

The shooting rampage came as a Washington Post-ABC News public opinion survey found that 55 percent of Americans say they believe most Afghans oppose U.S. objectives there, with 54 percent favoring a U.S. withdrawal, even before Afghan forces are self-sufficient.

Under an order President Obama gave last year, about 33,000 U.S. troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 4
    Next 
by: Haron
March 13, 2012 9:17 AM
i'm happy from one-side when US says there is no change in Afghan war but i'm very much angry when Italian Panetta says that we punish to die that soldier when killed 16 people in Afg. i say where was Italian Panetta in the war of 1995 to 2000 if he punish that soldier whom would punish Britania, Pakistan, Iran & Uzbekistan? i have well remember when Taliban were killing people in North of Afg all these Southern & Eastern of people were dancing on streets, roads & in schools.

by: HUANG ZHOU
March 12, 2012 5:51 PM
The US's invasion of Afganistan, Irag, Lybia... has left there the hatred among people of different sects, killings everyday, insulting people's own belief, destruction of the whole countries. They have not brought there the freedom, democracy and peace as they had promised earlier.

by: Rob Swift
March 12, 2012 4:37 PM
The reason these atrocities(Burning of holy books and murdered children) were committed here is anyone (e.g.America)is always weakest in where they present themselves to the(e.g.Arab or Moslem) world. ("Your enemy is always weakest in his advertising") The Arab world is a centre of power because they have the oil. These atrocities represent a political attack on America.

by: Rob Swift
March 12, 2012 3:54 PM
No change in strategy is good for both America and Afghanistan. Whatever lunatic is behind this is looking to get a premature pullout (release) and is after (Political) power. Two hits involving fire shows our ritualistic lunatic to be off balance. These people respect no-one whether American or Afghan.

by: afghan
March 12, 2012 3:52 PM
get out of my country americans we hate youuuuuuu ...americans are the worst people on earth they are killing inocent people every where ..get out ur soldiers from my country

by: Unfortunate Reality
March 12, 2012 1:51 PM
The guy is on his fourth tour, he has seen more #$@% in that time than any of us should ever imagine. He is fighting terrorist, who know nothing of honor or integrity, only to hate the infidel. Nothing can exscuse his behavior, I can only say its learned from watching his enemies and although I condem it, I understand it...

by: Cebes
March 12, 2012 1:19 PM
Mitt Romney weighed in on the situation and said you know I was responsible for bringing the world together at a profit at a profit no less with the Olympics. I can do the same for the Afghans. Does nayone want to bet me $10,000 US?

by: Dan
March 12, 2012 1:13 PM
Afghan society is primitive. Their culture and religion don't allow them to comprehend concepts such as person liberty or freedom of speech. Until they want those things for themselves, they will always reject what they see as an occupying power trying to subdue them, regardless of any good intentions that power may have. I say leave, but with a warning that we will not hesitate to destroy any threat that they pose to us or our safety or freedom.

by: umish katani
March 12, 2012 1:03 PM
Get out of afganistan and let them all kill each other without our help.....

by: Jon
March 12, 2012 12:58 PM
No change in strategy??? You might ask the Afghans first. I am an American Veteran but this arrogance from our government takes my breath away. Who in the hell do you think you are. I am embarrassed by these fools in charge of the latest disaster. Get them out now!!!! That's an order.
Comments page of 4
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs