US waging wider war on al Qaida
US defence secretary Leon Panetta has said America's fight against al Qaida terrorists is taking a new direction - moving beyond declared war zones such as Afghanistan and requiring more partnering with foreign commandos.
In a speech to a Washington think-tank Mr Panetta said al Qaida had been badly damaged by a decade of US-led counter-terrorism operations around the world. But he stressed that the group remained a threat.
To achieve what he called "the beginning of the end" of al Qaida, Mr Panetta said the US would need to finish the war in Afghanistan in a way that prevented the group from re-establishing major havens in the country.
He also said the US would have to keep pressure on al Qaida in Pakistan, while continuing to go after al Qaida affiliates in Yemen and Somalia.