Obama defends Afghan apology as necessary to 'save lives'

Afghans shout slogans during a protest in Ghani Khall. Afghans shout slogans during a protest in Ghani Khall. Rahmat Gul/AP

President Obama on Wednesday defended his apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Korans by NATO troops as necessary “to save lives,” but also said that "we're not out of the woods yet."

Though the apology, issued in a letter last week, has received criticism from GOP candidates for president, Obama stood by his decision in an interview with ABC’s World News.

He apologized, he said, “to save lives and to make sure our troops who are there right now are not placed in further danger.”

Obama added: “It calmed things down. We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Protests continue in Afghanistan in response to what officials have deemed an accidental burning of Korans on Bagram Air Base, which took place last week. The violence has resulted in the deaths of dozens of people, including four U.S. soldiers. Top U.S. military officials have launched an investigation into the incident.

Critics have also derided Obama's choice to honor returning Iraq War veterans with a Wednesday-night dinner at the White House, rather than the customary parade. But Obama explained that he won't hold a parade until the war in Afghanistan is over as well.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.