U.S. will root out militants, Panetta says after Kabul embassy attack

By Lara Seligman

September 15, 2011

After a 20-hour assault against the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed frustration on Thursday morning with Islamabad, Pakistan, the Associated Press reports.

Panetta warned that the U.S. will put a stop to the attacks on U.S. forces from Pakistan-based insurgents like the Haqqani network, which U.S. officials have blamed for the assault on the Afghan capital. The attack left 27 civilians, police, and attackers dead, although no NATO or U.S. Embassy employees were harmed.

Panetta criticized Islamabad in particular for the fact that the Haqqanis are able to launch deadly attacks and then quickly flee to safety in Pakistan.

The Defense secretary's remarks reflect a growing tension between the U.S. and Pakistan. Despite U.S. pressure, Islamabad has been slow to move against the Haqqanis, a group that is closely connected to the Taliban and al-Qaida.

However, he refused to say whether the U.S. plans to take military action.

"Time and again we've urged the Pakistanis to exercise their influence over these kinds of attacks from the Haqqanis, and we have made very little progress in that area," Panetta said. "I'm not going to talk about how we're going to respond.... We're not going to allow these types of attacks to go on."


By Lara Seligman

September 15, 2011

http://www.govexec.com/defense/2011/09/us-will-root-out-militants-panetta-says-after-kabul-embassy-attack/34912/