US Staying the Course in Afghanistan Despite Koran Controversy
(WASHINGTON) -- While relations between the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan government may never be the same again due to last week's burning of Korans at Bagram Airfield, the Obama administration has no intention of speeding up its withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan.
The incident has led to unprecedented violence directed at American and NATO troops, with four U.S. service members killed and Marine Gen. John Allen, who commands coalition forces in Afghanistan, pulling all advisors from Afghan ministries to protect them from further attacks.
On Monday, the Pentagon sought to calm fears that the U.S. has suddenly lost its determination to carry out the long-term goal of defeating al Qaeda and keeping the Taliban from reclaiming its hold on Afghanistan.
Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters, "Anyone who believes they can weaken our resolve through these cowardly attacks is severely mistaken. There is much at stake in Afghanistan, and our commitment to our mission and our strategy will not waver."
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for fueling the anti-American fervor in Afghanistan, as well as the killings of a U.S. major and colonel last Saturday inside the heavily fortified Interior Ministry in Kabul. The shooter, identified as a driver who worked there, remains at large.
There was more violence Monday as a car bomb exploded outside a NATO base in Jalalabad that left nine Afghans dead. No coalition troops were among the fatalities.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio