US defence chief says Karzai should thank allies and not slam them
LIMA, Peru (AP) - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says Afghan President Hamid Karzai should say "thank you" now and then to the allied military forces that are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, rather than criticising them.
Mr Panetta on Friday was responding to Mr Karzai's recent complaints that the United States was playing a double game in his country by fighting the war in Afghan villages rather than going after those in Pakistan who support insurgents.
The uncharacteristic shot from Mr Panetta comes as tensions between the two countries have escalated over the increase in attacks in which Afghan security force members or insurgents dressed in their uniforms turn their guns on coalition troops. He noted that more than 2,000 US troops were among those who had been killed in the war.
Mr Panetta's sharp retort came during a trip that will take him to Peru for bilateral security talks and then to Uruguay for a meeting of defence ministers from across the Americas.