| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Panetta says Karzai should thank allied forces

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 9:38 p.m.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lashed back at Afghan President Hamid Karzai Friday, saying the Afghan leader should say thank you now and then to the allied forces who are fighting and dying there, rather than criticizing them.

Panetta was responding to Karzai's complaints on Thursday that the United States is failing to go after militants based in Pakistan, and instead is concentrating on insurgents in Afghanistan.

“We have made progress in Afghanistan because there are men and women in uniform who have been willing to fight and die for Afghanistan's sovereignty,” Panetta snapped, as he spoke with reporters traveling with him to South America. “Those lives were lost fighting the right enemy not the wrong enemy, and I think it would be helpful if the president, every once in a while, expressed his thanks for the sacrifices that have been made by those who have fought and died for Afghanistan, rather than criticizing them.”

The uncharacteristic shot from Panetta occurs as tensions between the two countries have escalated over the increase in insider attacks, where Afghan security forces or insurgents dressed in their uniforms have turned their guns on coalition troops. And it raises the temperature on the heels of the announcement that, as of last weekend, 2,000 U.S. troops had lost their lives in the war.

At the same time, however, there is persistent frustration with the insurgents, including members of the Haqqani network, who wage attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan and can then retreat to their safe havens in Pakistan. U.S. officials have repeatedly pressed Islamabad to more forcefully go after the insurgents, including Haqqani factions in and around North Waziristan.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
  2. Tomlin on Bell’s late TD: ‘We were going to go for it’
  3. A farewell party for the Greenfield Bridge, then the headaches that follow
  4. Penguins notebook: Young and old embrace uniqueness of home opener
  5. Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
  6. Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
  7. Kicker Julius likely to keep his job, PSU’s Franklin says
  8. Pittsburgh considering self-insured health benefits to cut costs
  9. Pirates coach Sofield interviews for Padres manager
  10. Smallwood status uncertain heading into WVU’s game at No. 2 Baylor
  11. Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God sell 33-acre Whitehall home