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Obama On Afghanistan: ‘Harder To End Wars Than To Begin Them’

May 27, 2014 by  

Obama On Afghanistan: ‘Harder To End Wars Than To Begin Them’, President Barack Obama, seeking to turn the page on more than a decade of war, announced plans Tuesday for greatly reducing U.S. forces in Afghanistan by the end of the year and then ending the U.S. military commitment by the end of 2016.

He said American forces, first sent within a month of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, have struck significant blows against al-Qaida’s leadership, eliminated Osama bin Laden and prevented Afghanistan from being used as a base against the U.S.

“We have now been in Afghanistan longer than many Americans expected,” Obama acknowledged during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden. “Now we’re finishing the job we’ve started.”

Even as Obama set a timetable for the drawdown, he said he would keep nearly 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan after the U.S. combat mission formally ends later this year. Those troops would focus on training Afghan security forces and on countert*rror*sm efforts.

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