Panetta: America beating al Qaeda but hasn't won yet
November 20th, 2012
09:48 PM ET

Panetta: America beating al Qaeda but hasn't won yet

By Larry Shaughnessy

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spelled out the future battle against al Qaeda, praising what has been done so far but warning much more work remains.

Speaking about the September 11 attacks in a speech at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, Panetta said, "We will do everything possible to ensure that such an attack never happens again. That means counterterrorism will continue as a key mission for our military and intelligence professionals as long as violent extremists pose a direct threat to the United States."

He said efforts against the core al Qaeda group have been largely successful. "Al Qaeda's leadership ranks have been decimated. This includes the loss of four of al Qaeda's five top leaders in the last 2½ years alone - Osama bin Laden, Shaikh Saeed al-Masri, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman and Abu Yahya al-Libi."

But he pointed out that al Qaeda remains a threat outside Afghanistan and Pakistan, in places like Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.

Panetta orders review of ethics training review for generals

"We know that al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents are looking to establish a foothold in other countries in the Middle East and North and West Africa - including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Boko Haram group in Nigeria. The international community and our regional partners share our concern about Mali, where al Qaeda affiliated groups have taken control of territories in the North and pose an emerging threat. We are also concerned about Libya, where violent extremists and affiliates of al Qaeda attacked and killed innocent Americans in Benghazi," Panetta said.

"With respect to that attack, let me be clear: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice those who perpetrated these attacks."

Panetta said the solution to defeating al Qaeda's outlying affiliates is unconventional warfare. "This campaign against al Qaeda will largely take place outside declared combat zones, using a small-footprint approach that includes precision operations."

"We are continuing to ramp up Special Operations Forces, which have doubled in size from 37,000 on 9/11 to 64,000 today. SOF will grow to 72,000 by 2017. We are expanding our fleet of Predator and Reaper UAVs over what we have today."

But he went on to say the real permanent solution to extremist terrorism means more than guns and bombs. "But to truly protect America, we must sustain and in some areas deepen our engagement in the world – our military, intelligence, diplomatic and development efforts are key to doing that."

Benghazi talking points omitted link to al Qaeda

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Filed under: 10 years of war • Abu Yahya al-Libi • Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Benghazi • Diplomacy • drones • Libya • Mali • Nigeria • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Panetta • Secretary of Defense • Somalia • Special Operations Forces • Yemen
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. gman tello

    please support our troops

    December 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  2. Skorpio

    The answer to global Islamic madness and violence is A MASSIVE CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS TO CHRISTIANITY. Middle Eastern Christian churches should unite in order to convert millions of brainless Muslims to Christianity. The root of the problem worldwide is the Koran and its diabolic ideology. Salman Rushdie is right to name his book: "The Satanic Verses"...of the Koran.

    November 23, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  3. Clyde

    We are paying $800 billion in taxes to police a world that hates us and to support GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE in israel? ???

    November 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  4. John Krats

    Comments like Secretary Panetta's are not only counterproductive, they are obtuse. Al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization. It is virtually identical to the Irish Republican Army. That's where they got the idea.

    It's a cellular structure that as a whole is impervious to the tactics utilized to take down tree structured organizations. By design, the left hand knoweth not what the right hand doeth. You kill off one cell at a time as you discover them. The "leadership" isn't. They are only figureheads who are promoted and publicized for recruiting and money raising.

    This is why true professionals in national security say nothing and simply act. Mr. Panetta spent two years as a Lieutenant in the Army almost fifty years ago and did not serve a day in combat. The rest of his "national security" experience is as a politician and is thus useless to the problems at hand. He is not unlike a lot of the current administration.

    They are dilletantes that have never had any of their own skin in the game. That's why our US Ambassador to Libya was allowed to wander about a nation in revolt with no effective security. Due to the lackadaisical, amateur nature of the US Government that we enjoy, we were unprepared and had no response whatsoever on the anniversary of 9/11.

    Instead of responding with a meat axe in one hand and a sledge hammer in the other, the coward in chief is investigating.

    It's cool. Americans do not give a damn anyway.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  5. helenecha

    Al Qaeda's leadership ranks have been decimated, but you should tell American people how you have weighed in on about the missions of fighting against terrorists the U.S. military will face has not been as difficult as before, and why? Did Benghazi terrorists attack mean to that?

    November 22, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
  6. lance

    start here at home stop letting muslem immigrants into the country than we will beleave you are serious about stopping terrorism.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  7. Paul

    Didn't Obama declare the war on terror was over?

    November 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  8. GJ

    I suspect those in power within the US millitary and CIA likely do not truely want the "war on terror" to end. (Think of the billions in defense and security contracts for corporations who write our foreign policy at think tanks). How else can you explain the continued US funding and assistance of Al Qaeda and its jihadist offshoots to fight the proxy war in Syria? (Don't believe the lie that most rebels are actually Syrian). Especially after the blowback we saw in Bengazi after using many of these same millitants to kill Gaddafi in Libia?

    November 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  9. Mohammed, The Drug Lord

    4 out of 5 Al Qaeda leaders neutered and neutralized. Awesome!! Keep up the good work and keep the pressure on.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Dodger

      They just come back stronger and more determined!!!!

      November 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      The US is ARMING and FUNDING them. How convenient to have the great evil always on the front page! Makes it easy to take away our rights to "protect" us from the Al Qaeda under every bed!

      November 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  10. michaelfury

    "We will do everything possible to ensure that such an attack never happens again"

    Except properly investigate that attack.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply

    Perhaps Jehovah God does not allow others to read His truth on the streams? Netanyahu and Wolf B. say: "Read Genesis 21 to know Isaac and Ishmael" - Egyptian President knows the Egyptian slave girl Hagar was mother of Ishmael. Sarah was mother of Isaac. Abraham loved both his sons equally. Wolf B. and Netanyahu both know that Jehovah God blessed both of Abraham's sons. Arab nations - seed of Ishmael - became mighty and strong because Abraham was faithful to Jehovah God (YHWH). Netanyahu and Wolf B. know this well. Isaac and Ishmael need to reunite now.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • CuriosityKilledTheCat

      gos have no place in war- we have real problems (real as in actually existing!!!)

      November 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply

    Obama does not know Isaac and Ishmael are brothers - Netanyahu knows Ishmael and would be a "willing partner."

    November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  13. Anne

    Sure, you couldn't say it 1 month ago when the crazy Joe was yelling about his boss' success. And this is called transparency. Are the 50.4% at least listening? What about some truth on Benghazi?

    November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • GOPtard Detection System

      Warning!.................Warning!..............Warning!........GOPtard detected!!!!!!!!

      November 21, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Dodger

      Yeah – we all believed Obama would be about "Change" and boy did we get it. Less transparency in the White House, still at war, lies that didn't need to be about Benghazi, and now Panetta saying Al Queda is on the run – what a joke. And I am not GOP – I expect the President to have some ethics, and realize that the middle class can not keep the 50.4% fed much longer.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Benghazi is nothing more than a huge mistake by Ambassador Stevens! Put the blame where it belongs. Stevens felt insecure and threatened in Benghazi. Congress cut funding for his defense, he knew this. If he felt so threatened, he should have left and returned to Tripoli! He didn't! Why? Maybe he had a female interest there! This is all the excuses now! Stevens caused his own demise, no excuses!

      November 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply

    CNN MANAGEMENT - Yes, Wolf B. knows Isaac and Ishmael are brothers - seeds of Abraham. Brothers need and want to reunite in co-habitation and peace together. Most people of the world do not know Jews and Arabs are blood brothers, the sons of Abraham. Egypt needs to help his brothers and then become independent of American money. The rich Arab brothers will take care of Egypt. Then the Blood of Abraham will wash the Declining Western nations away from their midst. Wolf B. knows this would be good 🙂

    November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • CuriosityKilledTheCat

      gods have no place in war- we have real problems (real as in actually existing!!!)

      November 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  15. Paul

    This can be resolved easily cut off all funding to any county that harbors them including Pakistan......

    November 21, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • TheDougler

      Stop it Paul...That makes too much sense, and we can't have our government doing those types of things.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Paul

      How about cutting off funding and arms coming from the USA first? Al Qaeda is a convenient tool being used to take away our 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  16. Jeff

    The al qaeda organization will not give in to the morally weaker U. S.. They are further motivated by the withdrawal of NATO and U. S. forces from the region. It is a modern day Vietnam. Once the U. S. is out of the area we better brace for impact as they say with a crash landing. The terrorists will march into the country – citizen or non citizen.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • kilowatt23

      So says "Chicken Little".

      November 21, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  17. dogmandg

    Al Qaeda is strong because most of the Arab world hates us. Killing top leaders, precision operations, and sharing intelligence won't change that. To be clear, there will always be some Arabs that hate the U.S., but right now a majority of them hate us. That’s what fuels al Qaeda.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • Mohammed, The Drug Lord

      Awesome!! 4 out of 5 Al Qaeda leaders neutered and neutralized. Good work. Keep the pressure on.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  18. us_1776

    al-Qaeda will never be "beaten".

    It is a convenient boogeyman to drag out whenever necessary to justify the massively over-bloated defense budget.


    November 21, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  19. gotcha

    We still need to take away more of your freedoms to beat this enemy that may or may not be here.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
  20. RayinKuwait

    This is nothing new, we knew this way back in '04 when we were chasing AQ affiliates through the streets of Baghdad.

    If the brass and POTUS – the current one and his predecessor – were serious about this, we'd have executed a "silent running" campaign, fighting a shadow war and only letting highly visible actions become fodder for the media.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
  21. alan fischer

    Sounds like the Civil War of 1861-1865--– The United States sent thousand of American soliders to their death–also lost the wars–Korea–Viet Nam–Iraque–Afganistan–al for nothing–as my sister said -who lost her husband in Viet Nam– left two boys behind-as she said so the Vietnamense can come to America to open up nail shops

    November 21, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
  22. CuriosityKilledTheCat

    There will never be an end to this war until our Gov. (the U.S.) puts an end to this, Seize the Sahara desert (occupy the water holes, force the terrorist into the open wilderness,and blast them!!), let Israel seize Gaza and the west bank,while the U.S. invades Iran from the caspian sea and seize Tehran (along with a D-day style invasion from the coast), use our forces in the pacific to search and destroy AQ in the philipines,destroy Boko Haram,once all that is done, invade Yemen and use our air force to kill these guys- I know it sounds risky, but the alternative is all of us hoping (to which I place no faith in) that another 9/11 isnt going to happen again. NEWS FLASH: this is a world war, its time to start acting like it!!!

    November 21, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Paul

      OR, maybe we could quit killing THEM and meddling in THEIR countries for a change! Maybe we could quit supporting dictators of ALL kinds, not just the ones that do what we want. Maybe we could let the rest of the world do their own dirty work for a change! The Us spends more on our military than the next 20 countries COMBINED!

      November 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  23. TheDougler

    Wait a minute. Doesn't that go against the Obama narrative? Does this now make Panetta a racist too for go against the Messiah Barack Obama? Can we trust anyone anymore??

    November 21, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  24. Ike was right

    We never beat the Viet Cong either, but life goes on. To the dismay of the military industrial complex, we need to understand this isn't 1950 anymore. You don't "win" wars with trillion dollar "defense" budgets.
    The best thing that could happen to the USA (which never will), is for our military to be gutted so we don't try to start anymore wars we can not win. The US with a powerful military is like an 8 year old boy with a crate of hand grenades.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Great comment!
      Who supported "free democratic elections" in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and elsewhere?
      Now we can't accept the governments "the people" voted for!
      In many countries, dictators are necessary! We had a much more peaceful world until the US demanded "free and democratic elections"! Democracy is not simple,

      November 22, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      The Viet Nam war was a huge fiasco! WE LOST! However, we learned nothing.
      After WE turned tail and got out, the country survived and even became prosperous! Today, Viet Nam is an accepted trading partner with the US. It is still a "communist ruled country", so is China! Our other big "accomplishment" was seeing the USSR melt down. Sure, the Berlin Wall was torn down, but now Russia is ruled by a dictator (no doubts about this).

      November 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  25. sidb1980

    Really? SHocker... Not! It is only news to the Democrats who thought they had formed world peace....

    November 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
  26. Vidyashanti

    Threat from terror never goes away unless the root cause in known and eliminated. Some people have seen nothing but the war.Others have experience nothing but poverty,hunger, suppression, exploitation, and some are manipulated because of ignorance, absence of education and opportunities.
    Al Qaeda as an organization is not eliminated but their known leaders who engineered 911 attack are. That deserves credit.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • abiss

      Really? Zawahiri is still out there. Further, you chop of one head of the snake and it grows another.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • Paul

      How about the root cause being European and US intervention in THEIR countries, installing dictators and exploiting the resources.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  27. George Patton

    What would one expect this bozo Panetta to say? Of course we're "beating" Al Qaeda but then again, Al Qaeda was never that formidable in the first place! In fact, the true Ussama bin Laden probably died of kidney failure in the mountains of Tora Bora around 2002 instead of being brutally murdered in the city of Abbotabad on May 2 of last year.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
  28. rad666

    How naive of America to ever think it could beat an enemy without borders. Will never happen.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  29. Sean

    Al Qaeda is not a group of outlaws you can arrest and bring to justice its more of a religious ideology. These people believe that Islam should dominate the world and they are executing what the Qur’an tells them to do the see that through. If you need to put a dent in that ideology you need to destroy the funding source and that takes you to the Arab oil reach countries who spend a great deal of money for that purpose!!

    November 21, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  30. elltee

    i love how this is under the "just in" section, it needs to be under the no sh!t section

    November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  31. liberal disease

    funny he didn't mention this before the election? Barry was out there telling is he liked Bin laden and everything was under control, then the Benghazi lies, what a bunch of criminals!

    November 21, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      He didn't have to mention it.He knew it,intelligence knew it,and even as clueless as you are,knew it too.Conservatism is also a disease.Support this President,or leave it to go join Al-Qaeda or the Grover Norquist brigade.They both are looking for naive,uninformed individuals.Perhaps you fit into that category?

      November 21, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • elltee

        that is what i love about liberals they are the worlds WORSE hypocrites. If Romney had won, I am sure you would really be supporting the president, of course you wouldn't be, but you want other people to support him because you voted for him, nope does not work that way, oh and by the way you can still love your country and not support the president

        November 21, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • abiss

      This is what is so amazing; now that the election is over, these liars are singing a different tune. A failures always tries to lower expectations.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • kilowatt23

      From someone who likes licking mud off Limbaughs too elltee.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  32. werewolf1

    How about getting rid of the Poppy fields and denying them 200 million dollars a year for a start.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • Vidyashanti

      Poppy fields are every where. Does not need special cultivation. Only way perhaps would be to make the land not useful which is unethical and irresponsible.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Hahahahahahhaha

        If Al Kinda was so ethical and responsible, we wouldn't need to do it!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

        November 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  33. Jimmy

    The war against terror is like a war against dandruff-Gore Vidal. This is absolutely accurate. Never spend blood or treasure on a war that will never end and can not be won. Almost like the war on Drugs.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • nozozoz

      Before election, this liar and his commander-in-chief said: The US defeats the Al-queda and they are on run. Now these sand-bags said: NO. Thiese liars must be removed because they are mis-leading Americans.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
      • EON

        You are misleading American's, and anyone else that is reading, with your spelling. The terrorist organization is spelled
        Al Qaeda.

        November 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • Dennis

        Isn't that statement similar to "Bring it on" or "Mission Accomplished" or other blowhard slogans?

        November 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • Helena Troy

        ...while you, Eon, have committed the grievous error of placing an unnecessary apostrophe in your "American's".

        November 21, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  34. abmri60

    Al Qaeda will get replacements for OBL, and keeps changing it's name into another terrorist group.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  35. frank

    well it was not DUH! for BHO....Obama said during the election that they were on the run! liars

    November 21, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • Steve in Denver

      Perhaps you didn't read the headline: "America BEATING al qaeda but hasn't won yet."

      November 21, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
      • Dennis

        It is likely they can't read at all,and if it were possible it would only be right wing publications.

        November 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  36. frank

    ummmmm interesting YOU DID NOT SAY THIS BEFORE THE ELECTION!!!!!!!!!! liars,liars,liars

    November 21, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • Reality Check

      You may have noticed there was no need to say this, because it is a summary of what was pretty much known by people who get their news from the lamestream media that is so lame it deals in facts instead of fantasy. Things like ongoing drone attacks taking out "#2 in command" should be an indication that the US is still pursuing al Qaeda.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  37. HuPhartNgau

    "But to truly protect America, we must sustain and in some areas deepen our engagement in the world..."

    We are already FAR too deep in world affairs. That's a huge part of the problem; not a solution. We occupy and infer global influence with military bases in 147 countries. Most people can't even make a list of 147 countries. We need to get out of other people's business, and separate true national security from imperialism. Bring most of our troops home from abroad, improve our global relations, and plug the hole in that gargantuan money drain.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
  38. It's Me

    "Panetta: U.S. hasn't beaten al Qaeda "


    November 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • hubert39

      As long as we, the USA tries to rule/conquer, take over, take take their oil, choose the leaders in the Arab world we will have terrorism. Some people in Middle East don't want to be ruled by the USA! If the USA defeated al Qaeda, another group would come along to defend their home land. And remember our war with the Taliban is a religious war. Not terrorism. A so called Christian nation cannot go into a Muslim nation and defeat their religion.
      This was History lesson 101.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • CuriousG

      And how much is he getting paid for his observation?

      November 21, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Dennis

        A lot than you are making for being unobserving.

        November 21, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  39. Dasea

    it costs a lot of money to make people act so stupid

    November 21, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
  40. Dasea

    the justification of our war department is created by the same money we spend on defense. These people are afraid of peace being broadcasted from the middle east, so they only show violence from the middle east to get more money by bilking us dry

    November 21, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  41. Dasea

    Stop funding our department of defense and al quida will magically vanish

    November 21, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      Move out of your fantasy world,Dasea

      November 21, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
  42. brutal honesty

    al quada will not be defeated. i will just be used as an excuse to pass more draconian laws.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
  43. GoFaster58

    Now, Mr. Panetta, if you could only get your boss Mr. Obomber to speak out against Al Quieda and call terrorism what it is. You can't be politically correct with terrorism.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
  44. abiss

    Amazing. We now know the obvious. It was just a lie at the DNC.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
  45. lolol

    of course since US funds and arms AlQeada through Proxy....

    November 21, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Frank

      Proxy ? is that the nick name Hillary Clinton goes by now ?

      November 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
      • lolol

        thank you for showing how ignorant you are. it is expected from the average american.

        November 21, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  46. Thunder Brad

    I say we blow the whole Middle East up. That would be my foreign policy as your next President.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
    • usmc1999

      you've got my vote!

      November 21, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • jaggar

      I have thought the same thing. Unfortunately, we will never stop terrorism and the US politicians do not value our lives at all. They continue to allow people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq into our country. I am sorry if they are good people, but can we truly afford to risk the US citizens lives? All the suspected terrorist plots they have unfolded here and from people whom we allowed into our country. I am tired of those people who state "our country was created from immigrants". Yes, it was but now we have too many crazy people in the world. PROTECT OUR OWN BORDERS! Instead Obama wants to cut defense spending and allow all the Hispanics to become legal citizens and encourages people to hire Muslims..Nice Obama

      November 21, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Unfortunately Timothy McVeigh wasn't from any of the Muslim countries you mentioned Sir. He was an All-American decorated war veteran who raised havoc on our citizens in Oklahoma City. Let's face it, terrorists come in all races, color, religion, creed and nationality.

        November 21, 2012 at 8:05 am |
      • Anonymous30020

        The election is over, moron. Deal with it.

        November 21, 2012 at 8:17 am |
      • Sarg

        There was also the recent plot to bomb a bridge thwarted on American soil. It was full born and raised American Caucasian anarchists.

        Terrorism is a human thing. One only needs a perceived struggle, some dehumanization, propaganda, some high explosives and ignorance to breed them.

        November 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  47. SaveRMiddle

    A timely dose of Pre Fiscal Cliff fear to insure cuts to defense spending are off the table.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
  48. Name*T

    Well spoken and very true. Unfortunately for every terrorist we find and kill, many more take their place. The Global War on terrorism (GWOT) will continue until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  49. Freedom Storm

    STATISM: Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
  50. topper

    I'm sorry but your never going to beat radicals...they are who the are. Lets just get the heck out of the Middle East and stay out.....Tired of heaing about Al Quieda......

    November 21, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
  51. Harper

    Unfortunately, in this wonderful age that we live, moderates are silent, invisible or nonexistent, whether in the Islamic World or in the Republican Party.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
    • g


      November 21, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
  52. Frank

    Got news for ya Panetta. The first thing you have to do to shut down AlQeada is to cut off its head.

    And the head of the snake is "ISLAM!" Ya know, the violent ideology you goofs are protecting as a religion?

    November 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
  53. Joe

    Dogs are off the leash after the election.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:04 am | Reply
  54. jvance

    Mr Panetta is correct in pointing out that we have not vanquished AQ, in a sense we never will. Even if we could magically make every current card-carrying member disappear in a cloud of smoke the mindset and goals would remain. We certainly didn't rid the world of Nazi aspirations when Herr Hitler offed himself in 1945 and we won't eliminate the dreams of AQ with drone strikes or special ops raids.
    This is an ongoing, essentially permanent struggle, not a war with starting and ending dates for the history book.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • Basil Romeo

      Agree. No culture or ethnicity is immune to committing acts of terrorism. It is, however, a matter of degree and prevalence. A large minority of Muslims espouse this form of medieval jurisprudence to further their political objectives.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  55. sj9873

    wasn't it confucius who wrote that wars over resources or territory are always preferable to wars over ideas, since conflicting ideas are by their very nature mutually irreconcilable and thus the war will never end? we will never beat al qaeda, since they embody an idea that the US should not influence the muslim world. the best solution is not more guns and bombs and invasions, but supporting moderates in the islamic world who can keep the extremists at bay.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply
    • n8r0n

      Conflicting ideas aren't by themselves irreconcilable.

      It's only conflicting RELIGIOUS ideas that are.

      Secular ideas are not subject to the "this is the word of my god, and my god is better than your god, and not compromising on this issue will endear me to my god, the creator of the universe" argument.

      It's a lot easier to make compromises when you don't believe that eternal paradise or damnation is riding on your ability to stick to your guns (no pun intended).

      You get rid of religion, and a whole lot of wars can be avoided.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
      • dgf

        Absolutely correctomento!
        This is precisely the reason for secular governments. And the reason the forefathers of the U.S A. designed a government free of the shackles of religious doctrine. Keep religious leaders in the churches, temples, and mosques and out of government buildings.

        November 21, 2012 at 7:28 am |
  56. ldavid69

    Al Qaeda is like insects. You can never kill them all.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
    • Hahahahahahhaha

      No. But it's fun to try! Hahahahahahah

      November 21, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  57. Mark

    Leonardo wouldn't have said these things BEFORE the election.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
  58. Sue

    Thank you Mr.Panetta for all your efforts on behalf of our country. It has not been easy, with such a huge and intricate job that involves people and goverments in every corner of the globe. But also fighting any enemy that makes it a habit to hide in plain sight and blend in among ordinary citizens. It's also got to be frustrating to try to do your job when so many of the people you are working so hard to protect are so ignorant and self-involved that they can't see all that you do. Thank you, sir and good luck in whatever your next endevour may be.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:14 am | Reply
  59. Keksi

    Thats because Al Qaida is imaginary organization.

    You cant beat something that doesnt exist.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • Gort

      But you beat your penis every night. Zing!

      November 21, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
  60. Mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Your wrong Mr Panetta Obama says we have. What ever Obama says is the truth!

    November 21, 2012 at 6:00 am | Reply
    • elltee

      yeah notice, he makes this declaration AFTER the election, they are so predictable

      November 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      In contrast while campaigning,Romney offered zero evidence of truth,only lies from a "man of religion"

      November 21, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
  61. Sophie

    Thank you Leon Panetta for all the work you have done, and do. America will be forever grateful for your service. I firmly believe, America will have to forever be on our guard, and we will have to follow the beat, wherever Al-Quieda
    goes. I just think fighting AL-Quieda will have to be a world together operation. For the world to think that the U.S. should always be in this "alone" is very selfish on their part. Together. for world peace, will be the answer.

    November 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • topper

      Once we get out of the middle east i don't think the Q is much of a threat to us. We created this problem so we need to figure out a way to end it.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
  62. I Beat-Off Into The Flag

    An admission of failure. How refreshing.

    November 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • n8r0n

      He's not admitting failure. He's lobbying for continued support for this set of boondoggle wars.

      If he admits that we really have beaten al Qaeda back (to the extent that any movement can be beaten back), then there's no more publically arguable reason for us to be there.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
      • elltee

        thats the Sec of Def who was appointed by Obama, A democrat supporting a boon doggle war, hmmmm maybe just maybe the middle east is still a mess and we really do need to be there

        November 21, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Sure...GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply

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