The U.S. mission in Afghanistan ran into more trouble as President Hamid Karzai announced he wants American forces to leave Afghan villages and immediately pull back to their bases in the wake of last weekend's civilian killings, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier.
In a statement, he said: "International security forces have to be taken out of Afghan village outposts and return to bases immediately."
The Afghan president also said he wants the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO to hand over all security duties to Afghan forces in 2013, a year early.
Karzai issued his statement after a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who ended a two-day trip to Afghanistan. A spokesman for Panetta played down Karzai's comments. He said they were consistent with plans to withdraw most foreign troops by the end of 2014.
"I don't anticipate, at this stage, that we're going to be making any sudden additional changes to the plan that we currently have," Mr. Obama.
1. Where is Afghanistan?
2. Name three countries that border Afghanistan?
3. Who is Hamid Karzai?
1. What recent event strained the relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan?
2. Do you think American soldiers should listen to President Karzai and leave the Afghan villages? Why or why not?