Strategic defeat of Qaeda 'within reach'

2011-07-09 21:16

Kabul - The "strategic defeat" of al-Qaeda is "within reach", Leon Panetta said on Saturday, as he arrived on a surprise first visit to Afghanistan in his new role as US defence secretary.

Former CIA chief Panetta, who took office on July 1 to replace Robert Gates, arrived in Kabul for a trip to include talks with President Hamid Karzai over the transition of some Nato-held areas to Afghan control starting mid-July.

US President Barack Obama has announced that 10 000 US forces will leave Afghanistan this year and another 23 000 by the end of September in 2012, ahead of a full withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014.

Before his arrival, Panetta told travelling media that since the May night raid by US forces in Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden, 10-20 key al-Qaeda targets had been identified between Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and north Africa.

"If we can go after them, I think we really can strategically defeat al-Qaeda," said Panetta, who leads the Pentagon after two years as head of the CIA.

"Obviously we made an important start with that with getting rid of bin Laden. I was convinced in my prior capacity and I'm convinced in this capacity that we're within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda."

Pakistan

"Now is the moment, following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them because I do believe that if we continue this effort that we can really cripple al-Qaeda," he said.

Panetta also pushed Pakistan to do more to help the fight against al-Qaeda, amid dismal relations between the US and its uneasy ally in the war on terror.

In particular the United States wanted to see Pakistan go after al-Qaeda's new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who he said is likely living in the country's northwestern tribal areas.

"He's one of those we would like to see the Pakistanis target," said Panetta.

Critics of the war say it has no clear aims, especially since the death of bin Laden, and they have called for a speedier exit from the long conflict.
- SAPA
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  leon panetta  |  barack obama  |  afghanistan  |  pakistan  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.