Clinton defends operations in Afghanistan

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 21:50 hrs

Washington, Nov 16 (DPA) US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended Monday the use of precision operations against insurgent leaders in Afghanistan, calling it a 'key component' of the strategy.

'We believe that the use of intelligence driven, precision targeted operations against high-value insurgents and their networks is a key component' of the strategy, Clinton said.

Clinton's comments came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticised US-led raids intrusive into Afghan daily life. In an interview with the Washington Post, he called for a reduction of US operations and suggested the US consider winding down its military role.

'The time has come to reduce military operations,' Karzai said.

President Barack Obama has identified July as the goal for beginning to transfer security responsibility to the Afghan government. But even with the transition, US and international troops could be in Afghanistan until 2014.