As the attorney for an Army soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians prepared to meet his client for the first time Monday, a retired U.S. general suggested the fallout from the massacre could see American troops begin to return home from Afghanistan within weeks.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales stands accused of a shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province, allegations that have significantly heightened already tense U.S.-Afghan relations and intensified a debate about whether to pull American troops ahead of 2014 planned withdrawal.
Following the March 11 shootings in two neighboring villages just outside a U.S. outpost in the Panjwai district, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded troops withdraw from villages and return to their bases. He said relations between the two countries were "at the end of their rope."
If U.S. troops are not allowed to return to the villages and resume their mission, "the United States mission is changed," retired Maj. Gen. James A. "Spider" Marks, a former commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, told CNN's Don Lemon on Sunday.
God I certainally hope to see them home in a few weeks. Some fool said that we should puch to win. Win what for heavens sake. If we win the war – HOW WILL WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE WON? What is the prize?
Yes Dott, I agree... There is *no* prize in mans war.
I have said this before: war does not determine who is right....only who is left.
This blog – This Just In – will no longer be updated. Looking for the freshest news from CNN? Go to our ever-popular CNN.com homepage on your desktop or your mobile device, and join the party at @cnnbrk, the world's most-followed account for news.