Panetta says war strategy cannot be guided by polls

United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:34AM GMT
The US Defense Secretary says dwindling public support for the war in Afghanistan will have no impact on America's war strategy.

Referring to a recent poll which showed a drastic drop in public support for the Afghan war, Leon Panetta said, “We cannot fight wars by polls - if we do that, we’re in trouble,” AFP reported.

A poll, conducted among 986 adults from March 21-25 by the New York Times/CBS and published on Monday, showed that 69 percent of Americans were of the opinion that the US should stop war in Afghanistan. The poll was up from 53 percent four months ago.

Penetta said Washington will do exactly what it believes is the “best strategy” to complete the mission they have embarked on and that nothing can alter it.

However, he admitted that both Americans and Afghans are tired of the over a decade-long conflict.

The costly war has forced the US government to engage the Afghan militants in dialogue in a bid to curb the violence in the war-ravaged country.

The Taliban suspended talks with the US after the American troops killed 16 Afghan civilians.

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