KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - The top U.S. General in Afghanistan has distanced himself from recent comments on the situation there, saying that "it was simply a bad joke that was not reflective of his overall view," according to a written statement from International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) public affairs.
Gen. John Allen, the commander of ISAF, was quoted last week by a reporter with Newsweek as saying, "We should just take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." He went on to also offer a harsh rebuke of President Hamid Karzai, saying "we should just grease this rat-fuck son-of-a-bitch right now."
Believing that the remarks were off-the-record, he continued to talk of a different strategy for the war.
"Okay. We have several thousand canisters of CN-20," he said, pointing to a map of the suspected location of Haqqani network operatives. "I say we go back in there and nerve gas the whole fuckin' nest."
After an aide cited the possibility of collateral damage and the strong probability that the Karzai government would disapprove, Allen then became frustrated, saying "That's great, this is really fuckin' great, man. Now, what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some pretty shit now, man."
This isn't the first time an officer has faced criticism for remarks to major news outlets. Gen. Stanley McCrystal was relieved of command after a Rolling Stone profile revealed controversial quotes, including him asking, "how do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?" of one of his aides. His predecessor, Gen. David McKiernan, was also relieved after referring in public to the troop surge as "just another bug hunt."
One of the most embarrassing statements, however, came from Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, who briefed the Navy SEAL Team sent to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a group of Somali pirates in 2009. "It's a rescue mission, you'll love it," he told them before going over plan details. "There's some juicy pirates' daughters we have to rescue from their virginity."
Allen's comments received condemnation from the Obama administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"We certainly need to work with our Afghan partners and come up with a more tactful approach," said Clinton to members of the media. She later remarked that U.S. forces need to be more productive in their application of force, using flame units only instead of rifles. "Oh, and no grenades," she added.
Although Allen backtracked from his "nuclear comments", he did criticize the Secretary as "misguided and wrong on the rules of engagement."
"Hell why don't you put her in charge?," Allen mockingly asked, "What are we supposed to use now, harsh language?"
Although the U.S. is not currently considering a nuclear strike of Afghanistan, defense officials in Israel are looking into a possibile first strike against Iran.
"We definitely feel that if the regime continues to enrich uranium, we will be forced to nuke the site," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak as he explained scenarios over a blueprint of the Iranian nuclear facility. "Unfortunately we cannot insert a team of soldiers into the area, because you can see that their target would be right under the primary heat exchangers."