Primary enemy is al-Qaeda not Taliban,says Panetta

Enemy to United States in Pakistan and Afghanistan is Al-Qaeda and Taliban the umbrella.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: February 16, 2012 12:45:49 pm

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said that al-Qaeda is the primary enemy of United States in the Af-Pak region and those part of the Taliban who support al-Qaeda is also American target.

“The Taliban is a very broad group. Our primary enemy in that part of the world is al-Qaeda. The Taliban elements,the terrorist elements that support al-Qaeda are also our enemy,”Panetta said at a Congressional hearing.

“And there are some elements,obviously,of the Taliban that support al-Qaeda. And those are the ones that we’ve been targeting,” Panetta said in response to a question at hearing on budget of the House Committee on Armed Services.

“Our goal is to make sure that they never again can establish a safe haven in Afghanistan from which to conduct attacks on this country,and that remains our primary goal,” he said.

Panetta was responding to a question from Congressman Nac Thornberry.”Vice President Biden has said that the Taliban is not our enemy. And I have a quote here says — that supports that. Do you agree or what — do you believe that the Taliban is our enemy in Afghanistan? And if they are our enemy,can we leave a secure and stable Afghanistan without addressing the Taliban and their safe havens in Pakistan?” he asked.

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