KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed one American service member and wounded three other U.S. troops outside a base in southern Afghanistan on Thursday shortly after a visit there by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, officials said.
Panetta dismissed the attack as a desperate and futile attempt by insurgents to sow chaos in Afghanistan.
KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived on an unannounced visit to Kabul on Wednesday for talks with military commanders ahead of a decision on how large a U.S. military presence to keep in the country after the NATO mission ends in 2014.
Panetta has not disclosed how large a force he thinks will be needed, but one U.S. official has told Reuters that figures as low as 6,000 U.S. troops were under consideration.
KUWAIT (Reuters) – United States intelligence agencies have detected no new moves by the Syrian government in recent days that would indicate it was preparing to use chemical weapons against rebel forces, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday.
Several Western countries issued coordinated warnings last week to President Bashar al-Assad not to deploy chemical weapons, many citing secret intelligence that U.S. officials have said his government might be preparing to use poison gas.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Al Qaeda fighters are still trying to make inroads into Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, cautioning that battling the group would be a core U.S. mission there for years to come.
Panetta made the comments as the United States weighs how large a military force to keep in Afghanistan when the NATO combat mission ends in 2014, ending a war that, at that point, will have stretched for over 13 years.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama publicly scoffed at the idea of keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq. So could he really be persuaded to keep that many in Afghanistan after the war formally ends in 2014?
The 10,000 figure is well within a preliminary range put forward by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and which is informing deliberations by the Obama administration, one U.S. official said.
BANGKOK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
has ordered the U.S. military’s top brass to look for any gaps
in ethics training as he lamented lapses in judgment by officers
that could “erode public confidence in our leadership,” a
Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday.
Questions over the conduct of U.S. generals has come into
sharp focus over the past week as retired General David Petraeus
lost his job as CIA director over an affair and General John
Allen, who leads the Afghan war effort, was placed under
investigation for potentially inappropriate emails with a
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday he knew of no other military officials beyond the top commander in Afghanistan drawn into the investigation surrounding former CIA Director and retired four-star general David Petraeus.
Panetta, on a visit to Thailand, acknowledged that further revelations were possible in the case. But his comments suggested that, at least for now, questions about email traffic with a Florida socialite had ensnared no other officers.
BANGKOK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta said on Thursday he knew of no other military officials
beyond the top commander in Afghanistan drawn into the
investigation surrounding former CIA Director and retired
four-star general David Petraeus.
Panetta, on a visit to Thailand, acknowledged that further
revelations were possible in the case. But his comments
suggested that, at least for now, questions about email traffic
with a Florida socialite had ensnared no other officers.
PERTH, Australia, Nov 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta warned on Wednesday against jumping to conclusions
over the actions of the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, a day
after placing him under investigation in a widening scandal that
already cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job.
Marine General John Allen, who denies any wrongdoing, is
being investigated for potentially inappropriate communications
with a woman at the center of the Petraeus case, Jill Kelley, a
WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The scandal involving former
CIA Director David Petraeus widened on Tuesday as U.S. defense
officials said they were looking into “flirtatious” e-mails
between General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in
Afghanistan, and a woman at the center of the affair.
Defense Department officials said they were sifting through
30,000 pages of email and other communications between Allen and
Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite whose complaints about
harassing messages led to the discovery of Petraeus’ affair with