By Barbara Starr
In the latest sign of how strained U.S. and Afghan military relations have become, a senior U.S. official tells CNN, "There is a strong sense inside the Obama administration that the Afghans did not do enough to quell the violence" that has erupted since the burning Qurans and other religious material a week ago.
"We are not going to settle for what has happened to our troops in recent days," the official said. He declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the situation. This official has access to the latest intelligence about the situation and is involved in discussions inside the administration.
The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, said the Afghans have not been totally absent in trying to stop the violence.
"I think we need to bear in mind that the Afghan security forces, throughout this whole process, have been seeking to quell these demonstrations," Crocker said in an exclusive interview on CNN's "State of the Union."
"They've done so with loss of life on their side as well as some of the protesters, and they have been defending U.S. installations. So they are very much in this fight trying to protect us," Crocker added.
The intense violence following the burning of religious materials by NATO forces will be quelled as Karzai's latest appeal for calm will hopefully quell the violence, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan told CNN's Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview that aired Sunday on State of the Union.
"At a certain point it tapers off," Crocker said.
Crocker said the violence, and the Afghan government's seeming inability to stop it, cannot be seen as a reason for the U.S. to pull out of Afghanistan. (Read also about concerns about Afghan military violence against NATO and U.S. troops) FULL POST
By Adam Levine, with reporting from Nick Paton Walsh, Masoud Popalzai, Larry Shaughnessy, Moni Basu, Chris Lawrence and Tim Lister
The gunman who shot two U.S. military officers on Saturday in the highly secured Afghan Ministry of Interior was a junior intelligence officer with ties to a Pakistani religious school, an Afghan counter-terrorism official said.
It's just the latest incident of "green on blue" attacks which have been a rising problem for the U.S. and NATO. A recent Congressional hearing looked at the issue and found that while some were influenced by Taliban ideology, some of the motives were more personal.
It adds another layer of difficulty to tamping down the anger and mistrust that has arisen from the admission by NATO that troops burned some religious documents seized from prisoners. FULL POST
By Elise Labott, reporting from Rabat, Morocco
Criticism of President Barack Obama's apology for the burning of Qurans in Afghanistanis not helpful, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday in a wide-ranging interview with CNN.
"I find it somewhat troubling that our politics would enflame such a dangerous situation in Afghanistan," Clinton said of the complaints by Republican presidential candidates and some experts about Obama's apology.
Obama apologized Thursday in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans, which he called "inadvertent" and an "error."
"It was the right thing to do to have our president on record as saying this was not intentional, we deeply regret it," Clinton said. FULL POST