Secretary Panetta and President Karzai talked by phone earlier today to discuss the war in Afghanistan. The Secretary highlighted the significant progress that has been made by American and Afghan forces as the transition process moves forward.
They also discussed the challenge of insider attacks against Coalition and Afghan forces. Secretary Panetta thanked President Karzai for his recent statements condemning such attacks. They expressed shared concern over this issue and agreed that American and Afghan officials should work even more closely together to minimize the potential for insider attacks in the future.
Secretary Panetta encouraged President Karzai to continue working closely with ISAF Commander General John Allen to further strengthen ISAF-Afghan cooperation to counter the insider attack threat, including augmented counterintelligence measures, even more rigorous vetting of Afghan recruits, and stepped up engagement with village elders, who often play a key role by vouching for Afghan security personnel.