Panetta says polls cannot dictate Afghan war plans


Agence France-Presse
March 28, 2012

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday a poll showing a big drop in public support for the war in Afghanistan would not alter Washington’s strategy, or efforts to battle Al-Qaeda.

“We cannot fight wars by polls — if we do that, we’re in deep trouble. We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we have embarked on,” Panetta told reporters.

He said the objective of the United States and NATO was “to safeguard a country by ensuring that the Taliban and Al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan,” he explained, recalling the attacks of September 11, 2001.

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