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May 28, 2012

Panetta: Taliban weakened but resilient

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is confident Afghan forces will be ready by the time U.S. troops exit in 2014. (UPI/Kevin Dietsch)

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Sunday that while he believes Taliban forces in Afghanistan are weakening, "we still have a fight on our hands."

Panetta said in an interview on ABC's "This Week," he is confident U.S. and Afghan forces will be ready when the U.S. combat mission ends at the end of 2014.

"We have not seen them able to conduct any kind of organized attack to regain any territory that they have lost," Panetta said.

"We have seen levels of violence going down. We have seen an Afghan army that is much more capable at providing security. We've seen transitions take place, where we're beginning to transition. Now we're at about 50 percent of their population that has been transitioned to their control. We'll be at 75 percent."

Until then, he said, U.S. troops will continue to work with Afghanistan to root out counter-terrorism.

"The world needs to know that we still have a fight on our hands. We're still dealing with the Taliban, although they have been weakened. They are resilient," Panetta said. "We have the concern about the safe haven in Pakistan and the fact that they can seek refuge in that safe haven. That's a concern."

Comments :


I guess my I'm not all that concerned about it given the flolowing historical facts:GettysburgChickamaugaChancellorsvilleShilohAntietamManassasVicksburgAll places on American soil where Americans were killed by Americans without due process. The precedent was set a long time ago. You make war against the Constitution of the United States you take your chances. Sometimes the government will give you due process other times not (Jacksonian mindset). If you are concerned about due process and legality under the Constitution, then there is really no difference between Random American killed on a battlefield on American soil by Americans, and American Anwar al-Awlaki killed on foreign soil (battlefield) by Americans.And as far as battlefield is concerned, given the global nature of terrorism one could argue that the whole world is a battlefield. So Anwar was technically on a battlefield when he was killed.In both cases (random Confederate soldier and Anwar al-Awlaki) they were marked for execution by the Executive (as Commander in Chief all military actions flow from the President). In one case the name was chosen in secret, in the other random (though in some sniping situations not so random). The manner by which you get chosen to be killed is really a distinction without a difference. Dead is dead. In neither case was a judge consulted. So if one was illegal under the Constitution so was the other.To me the distinction is Enemy verses criminal. Was Anwar al-Awlaki, like the random Confederate soldier, an Enemy of the Constitution? If the answer is yes, then I don't see an issue here. If the answer is no, then I see long hours of arguing over what makes someone an Enemy foreign or domestic . In all this my only complaint is the hypocrisy shown by the defenders of civil liberties for the all the years from 2001 through 2009 and their silence today. Makes one think it was all political posturing. I guess that is where situational ethics comes in handy.My two cents worth.Jerry


So what term would you use for someone who is sktepical of the official story on 9/11, not because he suspects deep dark conspiracy by the powerful, but rather because he suspects deep, impenitrible incompetence and ignorance of the powerful? I mean, controlled demolition or grand Jewish conspiracy sort of stories sound goofy to me, but I have pretty limited faith in the folks who have provided us the broad "official story" on the 9/11 attacks. Like, was KSM really the mastermind? Or is he a mentally ill loser who was fairly easy to beat into confessing to being the mastermind, between his confessions of secretly being Elvis, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus? Was OBL and Al Qaida primarily behind this, or did they have help from, say, Saudi or Pakistani intelligence? Was that dude convicted of being the 20th hijacker really in on the plot? Did flight 93 really go down because the passengers fought back, or did the room-temperature-IQ jihadi flying the plane just screw up? What was up with the FBI agents who couldn't get anyone to listen to the warnings of the middle eastern dudes who took flying lessons but didn't want to learn how to land? I have no conspiracy theory to offer. But the folks in charge between then and now have been repeatedly and demonstrably willing to lie to us when it worked for them poliically, and they've often taken actions based on later-clearly-wrong beliefs. Their incompetence and lack of knowledge about what's going on in various dark corners of the world is perhaps even more impressive than their dishonesty. The alleged watchdogs in the respectable US media lost even what little bite they had after 9/11, and it was years before they seemed to be willing to question the official story even when it was obvious it was horseshit. So, while I assume the official story of 9/11 is probably more or less true, I don't have great confidence in it. It would be entirely consistent with other things I have seen if important parts of the story were either intentionally made up, or just gotten wrong via confusion and incompetence.


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