Sunday afternoon, President Barack Obama signaled the formal end of the “combat” mission in Afghanistan, saying that after 13 years and 2,000 American lives lost, the longest war in history was coming to a “responsible conclusion.” Approximately 2,200 American troops were killed in Afghanistan in a war that cost the U.S. $1 trillion since the initial invasion in 2001. Obama promised early on to end the Afghan war, when he first took office. This year Obama promised he would reduce the number of “boots on the ground” to 10,000.
Obama emphasized that Afghanistan remained a dangerous place and the role of the remaining American forces would serve an advisory role to the Afghan forces. Civilian casualties in the country this year are on track to hit 10,000, and some 5,000 Afghan forces were also killed in 2014. Beginning Jan. 1, the new mission will provide training and support for Afghanistan’s military, with the U.S. accounting for almost 11,000 of the 13,500 members of the residual force. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who took office in September, signed bilateral security agreements with Washington and NATO allowing the ongoing military presence. READ MORE…
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