facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
X
Breaking News: Protesters march on Pakistan PM Nawaz's house
 

Panetta sees Afghan success

Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- An international goal of ensuring Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for al-Qaida is within reach, said retiring U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen handed responsibility of NATO forces in Afghanistan to fellow Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford during a weekend ceremony.

Panetta said the International Security Assistance Force under Allen's command has severely disrupted militants' efforts to thwart Afghan developments since war began.

"As a direct result of Gen. Allen's superb leadership, the ISAF campaign is on track to achieve the goal of ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for al-Qaeda or its extremist affiliates," Panetta said in a statement.

U.S. forces in 2011 launched a raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaida since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 has evolved to include regional offshoots in North Africa and the Middle East, however.

Allen told the BBC that counterinsurgency campaigns like Afghanistan are difficult to assess in terms of victory.

"I think we have gone a long way to setting the conditions for what, generally, usually, is the defining factor in winning a counter-insurgency -- to set the conditions for governance (and) to set the conditions for economic opportunity," he said.

International forces are to end their Afghan campaign next year.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
2
Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in Algeria killing seven
3
'Old Ironsides' sails across Boston Harbor before 3-year-rehab
4
Video: Free Syrian Army unleashes 'Hell Cannon' in fight against Assad
5
Boy being treated for brain tumor taken from hospital
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback