After landing in Afghanistan under cover of darkness, US President Barack Obama has had a packed schedule, having signed an agreement with Karzai involving American troops after 2014, addressed US troops stationed in Bagram, and then addressing the American people.
“My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda."
Despite signing the "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America" with Afghan President Karzai, which facilitates the presence of US troops in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal, the US commander-in-chief stressed the transition of power away from America in Afghanistan.
"International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward. As we do, our troops will be coming home. Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace, with more of our troops coming home. And as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.”
President Obama ended the address by shifting his speech to the home front before once again emphasizing the end of combat presence in Afghanistan.______________________________________________________
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