(LA Times) Afghan attacks over Koran burning renew debate on U.S. drawdown

Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “believe we have achieved significant progress in reversing the Taliban’s momentum and in developing the Afghan security forces, and they believe that the fundamentals of our strategy remain sound,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little.

In private, other officers and U.S. officials said riots and attacks after U.S. personnel threw copies of the Koran into a trash-burning pit at the Bagram military base have renewed a debate at the highest levels of the Obama administration and are expected to affect internal deliberations on the pace of the drawdown.

“Too many people are asking, ‘Why are we still doing this if the guys you’re supposed to be helping keep murdering your soldiers?’ ” said a senior U.S. general….

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