Panetta in Kabul to discuss troop levels

2012-12-12 15:03
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta flew to Afghanistan on Wednesday to confer with commanders about troop levels beyond 2014, as President Barack Obama considers the US military's future role.

Panetta's unannounced trip to Kabul came as Obama moves to wind down the unpopular 11-year-old war, weighing the pace of a troop withdrawal and a future follow-on force after 2014, when the Nato-led mission is due to end.

With Obama poised to make key decisions, Panetta said he wanted to discuss options on troop numbers with the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen.

"There will begin to be a drawdown that will take us toward the end of 2014," Panetta said earlier during a talk with soldiers and airmen at an American air base in Kuwait.

"At that time, the agreement is that we'll have an enduring presence that will continue in Afghanistan.

"The size of that enduring presence is something that the president is going to be considering in these next few weeks to determine exactly what that will be," he said.

There is growing speculation about the size of a post-2014 force, amid signs White House advisers are pushing for a smaller contingent of less than 10 000 while military officers favour a larger presence of up to 15 000 soldiers.

Panetta flew from Kuwait to Kabul for a two day visit. He will hear a progress report on efforts to hand over security to Afghan army and police as well as fledgling negotiations for an accord with the Afghan government on the terms of a future US military role.

Read more on:    nato  |  leon panetta  |  john allen  |  barak obama  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.