March 19th, 2012
04:06 AM ET

Retired general: Afghan killings fallout could see troop return within weeks

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.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • World
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Dott

    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?

    March 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary

    Yes Dott, I agree... There is *no* prize in mans war.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I have said this before: war does not determine who is right....only who is left.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
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