On his recent trip to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama announced that the United States and Afghanistan have signed a historic agreement “that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries -- a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.”
The United States is committed to completing the mission in Afghanistan, said President Obama:
“[The agreement] establishes the basis for our cooperation over the next decade, including shared commitments to combat terrorism and strengthen democratic institutions. It supports Afghan efforts to advance development and dignity for their people. And it includes Afghan commitments to transparency and accountability, and to protect the human rights of all Afghans – men, women, and boys and girls.”
The mission has achieved many goals, said President Obama:
“We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan security forces. We devastated al-Qaida’s leadership, taking out over twenty of their top thirty leaders. And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”
Going forward, Afghans will be fully responsible for their own security by the end of 2014. Coalition troops will continue to train, advise, and assist the Afghans and fight alongside them when needed.
As the U.S. works with Afghanistan on counterterrorism and training in the years ahead, it will not build permanent bases, nor will it patrol cities and mountains. At the same time, the U.S. will continue to support Afghan efforts toward peace. And finally the U.S. will continue to work to build a global consensus to support peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan can be an equal partner in this process.
In Afghanistan, Americans answered the call to fight al-Qaeda and help make America and Afghanistan more safe and secure. The ideals that have guided this nation are, as President Obama said, “a belief that all people are created equal and deserve the freedom to determine their destiny.”