“The Longest war in American history is coming to a responsible cosnclusion”, said US president Barack Obama in a statement on Afghanistan. The statement was released after a ceremony in Kabul marking the end of the NATO combat operations there. A milestone for the US, according to Obama.
“For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending”, says the statement.
“Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, — explained the president — and the Afghan people and their security forces continue to make tremendous sacrifices in defense of their country. At the invitation of the Afghan government, and to preserve the gains we have made together, the United States — along with our allies and partners — will maintain a limited military presence in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist Afghan forces and to conduct counter-terrorism operations against the remnants of al Qaeda.”
NATO Secretary General explained in Kabul that now a force of around 12,000 personnel will remain In the country.
The president Obama praised his troops and intelligence personnel “who have been relentless against the terrorists responsible for 9/11–devastating the core al Qaeda leadership, delivering justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupting terrorist plots and saving countless American lives”. Despite 2,200 US soldiers were killed during the war and many more were wounded. He made no reference to the thousands of innocent victims among the Afghanis. He said that thanks to the service of the men and women in uniform, his nation is safer and more secure.
He explained that “Our courageous military and diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan — along with our NATO allies and coalition partners — have helped the Afghan people reclaim their communities, take the lead for their own security, hold historic elections and complete the first democratic transfer of power in their country’s history.”
“Our personnel will continue to face risks, but this reflects the enduring commitment of the United States to the Afghan people and to a united, secure and sovereign Afghanistan that is never again used as a source of attacks against our nation.”, he said
Now let’s see if the 350,000 Afghan troops can maintain some stability in a country severely damaged by decades of war and how it develops the new NATO mission.