United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has arrived in Baghdad, his first trip to Iraq since taking over the Pentagon.
The visit comes within days of Panetta, the former head of the CIA, saying that the U.S. is "within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda." He made that statement on Saturday, shortly before landing in Afghanistan.
"I think we have them on the run," he said. "I think now is the moment, now is the moment following what happened with bin Laden to put maximum pressure on them because I do believe that if we continue this effect that we really can cripple al Qaeda as a threat to this country."
In Afghanistan, Panetta met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. David Petraeus, currently head of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Panetta was sworn in less than a month ago.