March 14th, 2012
06:34 AM ET

Panetta arrives in Afghanistan amid uproar over killings of civilians

By the CNN Wire Staff

Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (CNN) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for a two-day visit amid anger among Afghan leaders about a weekend shooting rampage blamed on an American soldier.

Panetta is the first high ranking U.S. official to visit the war zone since the killing spree in Kandahar province on Sunday that left 16 Afghan civilians dead. A U.S. soldier is now in custody in connection with the shootings.

The defense secretary is due to meet with Afghan tribal leaders and government ministers, but his schedule does not include a visit to the area where the killings took place.

His first stop in Afghanistan was at Camp Bastion and the adjoining base Camp Leatherneck, where he was to meet with top U.S. and British military leaders and speak to a group of about 200 troops. From there he will travel to a nearby forward operating base to meet more coalition troops before flying onto Kabul.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Panetta
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Ifeanyi

    I would love to see our troops from all over the world orhugbt back to America. I'm tired of seeing them used as a security force for other countries, who need not spend money for their own secuirty force.. Let the dumb Americans do it. If they don't have themoney for theirown security force, tough! We are at war with terrorism. Why fight it overseas when we have it right here at home. So, kets fight it here at home, and with our troops, which we can spread out along our Mexican and Canadian boarders. They could set up out posts, listening posts,,, and patrols. The troops could be given the same orders I got in Korea: If you hear something, toss a grenade. If you see something, shoot it. If our trroops can't do it, then ultimately, we the people will have to form up into malitias and do it ourselves.

    April 7, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
  2. stanleyrock

    why is my commentary wiped off your website ??? i thought this was free speech zone.. i did not know treason was a common virtue amongst you and yours ???

    March 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  3. Charlee

    Leon Panetta is not a good Secretary of Defense. The military should never have to disarm, they are the military. Unfortunately the "few" in the military that have caused all the problems, ruin it for the majority. It's always the problems that hit the news, what about the good that happens. Yep, you sure don't hear about the good.

    March 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  4. Bangash

    I doubt the wisdom of Paneta being a head of the CIA for any support to occupation of Afghanistan or further stay there when time has proved them wrong and have no other option except to pack up and leave out of the trap safely. Americans as a nation have condemned Bush for this wrong decision for which Americans are paying with blood and money today. Paneta should feel the feeling of his nation and help in planing safe exit of Afghan quagmire.

    March 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  5. VstarGuy

    In my opinion the Generals quote:
    "Gurganus said reason to disarm was that the Afghan soldiers in attendance were unarmed and he did not want them treated differently than the Marines." is way off the mark! We are aiding the Afghanistan soldiers! Our troops should be treated differently!
    I see this order to disarm our troops a fear of one of ours trying to kill Pannetta! THAT, tells me something, like our troops are at the end of their ability to remain disciplined...very similar to the situations that occurred in Vietnam! Why is that? Because we are ingaged in a guerrilla war AGAIN. We lost the one in Vietnam and we will lose the one in Afghanistan...
    because we have no business being there. Never have and never will have a reason to be there. Don't believe for one second that our troops are defending "Our Freedom"...if you believe that then you are a sheeple and don't don't think for yourself. The very last time our troops fought to protect our freedom was in WWII....which I'm sure many of you have no idea of what that was about...that's part of the reason why this country is practically on it's ass today!

    March 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  6. Skorpio

    The US should ban the Koran in all military bases. 1) Muslim clerics use the Koran as a weapon to incite, instigate, provoke the masses to create violence, chaos, hatred and attacks against Americans. 2) The same way Saudi Arabia confiscates and bans BIBLES because they are perceived as "subversives", the US should do the same to the Koran. 3) In comparison to Hitler's book "Mein Kampf", the Koran is more violent, discriminatory and anti-Semitic. 4) The Koran promotes, violence, hatred, resentment, vengeance, terrorism and discrimination. 5) The Koran is extremely offensive to "NON-MUSLIMS". The Koran denigrates, humiliates, discriminates all "Non-Muslims", setting a standard to follow by the Muslim people.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • robroy

      hey Skorpio,you just described a few of your folks security agencies .the first point is a real killer,everything in Texas is big even the bullshitting jaw muscles of your previous president on the Iraq issue.so whether waving a book in front of people or flapping the jaw muscles, this world is full of bullshit and who can ever throw it the farthest will still reek of bullshit at the end of the day.each spot where you used the Koran word drop in the phrase AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY,catchy isn't it?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  7. Skorpio

    Killing 16 Muslim CLERICS instead of innocent people by this soldier would've been more pragmatic. In fact, this soldier would've been considered a hero in the US AND Afghanistan, especially by Afghan women.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • Plainspeak

      Americans are foolish not to realize that the Zionists are using their country and forcing Uncle Sam to fight their wars. They are pushing the US and the world towards another world war. Iran will produce the bomb sooner or later and the other countries in the region will follow suit. Zionist entity can survive only in the US. The days of US hegemony are now numbered.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:50 am | Reply
  8. Sayan Majumdar

    Leon Panetta has emerged as one of the most outspoken United States Defense Secretaries that too in time of multiple crisis.

    He is looking tired already.

    Sayan.

    March 14, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  9. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/the-ones-who-attacked-us/

    March 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply

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