Panetta: US on 'right track' in Afghanistan

May 27, 2012 - 9:10 AM
Afghanistan Protest

Burning tires block a highway between Kabul and Kandahar in Seed Abad, Wardak province, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 26, 2012. More then 1500 Afghan protesters demanded a stop to military night operations. (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Nikzad)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is defending the Obama administration's plans to wind down the more than decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Speaking Sunday on ABC's "This Week," the Pentagon chief said the U.S. still has a fight on its hands, but is on the right track.

Panetta says he supports the decision to set a firm timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops, a position criticized by Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama's probable Republican opponent in this fall's election.

Panetta also repeated his criticism of the conviction and lengthy prison term given to a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find and kill Osama bin Laden.

Panetta says the doctor was not working against Pakistan and helped the U.S. locate one of the world's most notorious terrorists.