June 9, 2011 |
Leon Panetta, nominated to be the next secretary of Defense, told a Senate committee Thursday that the United States and its allies have made progress in Afghanistan, but warned that terrorists remain a threat despite the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In a morning of wide-ranging discussion of U.S. defense policy, Panetta, the current CIA chief, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he expected Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi will eventually step down if the international community keeps up the pressure of sanctions and airstrikes against his regime.
May 1, 2011 |
The message the White House tried to send with last week's changes at the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. command in Afghanistan was continuity. This wasn't a change of direction, aides said; it was merely a shuffling of the players necessitated by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' retirement. But there's more here than just a rearrangement of the seating chart. U.S. policy in Afghanistan is turning a corner — from a military surge to a military drawdown, from battering the Taliban to enticing them into negotiations.
April 27, 2011 |
President Obama is overhauling his national security team with both foreign policy challenges and domestic politics in mind, but the personnel moves illustrate an effort chiefly to build a team that can regain the initiative in the unpopular war in Afghanistan. By moving CIA director Leon E. Panetta to the Defense Department, Obama is installing someone who has expressed concern about the large U.S. operation in Afghanistan just as the White House begins internal deliberations over how quickly and how many U.S. troops can come home.
March 9, 2011 |
A meeting Wednesday of key Obama administration aides is not expected to lead to a quick decision on whether the United States should increase its role in dealing with the civil war being waged against the government of Libya's Moammar Kadafi, the White House said. In his briefing with reporters, White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the extent of the Obama administration’s response to the turmoil in Libya but said he did not expect an immediate decision on whether to expand the U.S. role by adding a no-fly zone, for example.
February 17, 2011 |
If the U.S. captured Osama bin Laden or other senior Al Qaeda leaders, they would probably be imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said in his first public acknowledgment that the controversial U.S. military prison in Cuba might be used to hold future detainees. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman Zawahiri, both of whom are believed to be hiding in Pakistan, would probably be moved quickly to the U.S. air base at Bagram, Afghanistan, for questioning and eventually moved, "probably to Guantanamo," Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
February 10, 2011 |
President Hosni Mubarak is set to address Egypt in the next hours after an Egyptian army general spoke to the thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo, telling them that their demands would be met. It was unclear exactly what was unfolding, but demonstrators have said for the last 17 days that they would not give up their protest until Mubarak leaves office. The president has refused to step down despite increasing pressure from within his ruling party and from Washington and other Western powers.
October 19, 2010 |
The stepped-up pace of CIA operations in Pakistan "is taking a serious toll" on Al Qaeda's operational abilities, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday. Panetta did not specifically mention missile strikes by unmanned drones in Pakistan because the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge the program. But it is well known that drones are the main tool the CIA uses to target militants in the country. "The basis for that increased pace is intelligence, weather and also just the threat streams we're getting on potential attacks in Europe," Panetta said.
January 1, 2010 |
The suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees at a U.S. base will temporarily slow U.S. intelligence-gathering in eastern Afghanistan, but the agency will not retrench its ambitious buildup in the country while it conducts a security review, officials said Thursday. Military and intelligence officials were scrambling to determine how the bomber penetrated a forbidding network of barriers, barbed wire and watchtowers at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst province near the Pakistani border, and made his way deep inside to set off a thunderous blast.
December 29, 2009 |
The White House this month issued a classified order to resolve mounting frictions between the nation's intelligence director and the CIA over issues including how the agency conducts covert operations, U.S. officials said. The intervention reflects simmering tension between the two most powerful players in the U.S. intelligence community: Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta. The memo maintains the CIA's status as the nation's lead spy service on covert missions, rejecting an attempt by Blair to assert more control.