The Pentagon is moving rapidly to try to limit the political fallout from the recent shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier.
Defense analysts say the attack is a severe setback for U.S. and allied counterinsurgency operations in the country that are based in large measure on “soft power” efforts to gain support from the local Afghan population to turn against the Taliban.
The damage grew worse this week when a senior member of the Iran’s parliament called for the withdrawal of all coalition forces from the country.
Senate Speaker Fazl Hadi Moslemyar on Tuesday went on Afghan television in his call for all foreign troops to depart Afghanistan. Mr. Moslemyar also urged all provincial councils to close offices in reaction to the killings.
Mr. Moslemyar said foreigners are not needed in the country and have brought only “calamity” and “failure.”