Obama Commemorates 10 Years of Operation Enduring Freedom

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2011 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma marked the 10th anniver­sary of the war in Afghanistan today by hon­or­ing those who have served there and not­ing their efforts toward bring­ing the war to a respon­si­ble end from a posi­tion of strength.

Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom, launched in response to the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks, tar­get­ed al-Qai­da and its Tal­iban pro­tec­tors in Afghanistan. 

The ini­tial vol­ley began Oct. 7, 2001, with 15 land-based bombers and 25 Navy strike air­craft from car­ri­ers tar­get­ing al-Qai­da Tal­iban-held air­fields, ter­ror­ist train­ing camps, com­mand-and-con­trol nodes and anti-air­craft posi­tions. In addi­tion, U.S. and British ships and sub­marines launched some 50 Tom­a­hawk missiles. 

The effort com­bined air pow­er, pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tions and state-of-the-art com­mu­ni­ca­tions with thou­sands of Afghan war­riors on horse­back or on foot. 

Ini­tial­ly, the oper­a­tion involved a rel­a­tive­ly small force � a few hun­dred spe­cial oper­a­tions forces and thou­sands of Afghan forces in the North­ern Alliance sup­port­ed by pow­er­ful U.S. air sup­port. U.S. Marines and sol­diers joined the force to con­front extrem­ist ele­ments through­out Afghanistan. 

Lat­er, Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom shift­ed to a broad­er-based effort aimed at cre­at­ing con­di­tions in Afghanistan that gave peo­ple hope for the future and an abil­i­ty to reject ter­ror­ists and their activities. 

Ten years lat­er, Oba­ma not­ed progress in tak­ing the fight against vio­lence extrem­ism to the source. 

“In deliv­er­ing jus­tice to Osama bin Laden and many oth­er al-Qai­da lead­ers, we are clos­er than ever to defeat­ing al-Qai­da and its mur­der­ous net­work,” he said. 

Despite what he acknowl­edged to be “enor­mous chal­lenges” remain­ing in Afghanistan, he cit­ed progress made. “We’ve pushed the Tal­iban out of its key strong­holds, Afghan secu­ri­ty forces are grow­ing stronger, and the Afghan peo­ple have a new chance to forge their own future,” he said. 

In doing so, work­ing with the Afghan peo­ple and a coali­tion of dozens of nations around the world in Afghanistan and beyond, “we have shown that the Unit­ed States is not and nev­er will be at war with Islam and that we are a part­ner with those who seek jus­tice, dig­ni­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ty,” Oba­ma said. 

Look­ing to the future, Oba­ma said the Unit­ed States is putting “a dif­fi­cult decade” behind it as it works toward “respon­si­bly end­ing today’s wars from a posi­tion of strength.” 

“As the rest of our troops come home from Iraq this year, we have begun to draw down our forces in Afghanistan and tran­si­tion secu­ri­ty to the Afghan peo­ple, with whom we will forge an endur­ing part­ner­ship,” he said. 

On the 10th anniver­sary of the war’s begin­ning, the pres­i­dent said he and First Lady Michelle Oba­ma “join all Amer­i­cans in salut­ing the more than half a mil­lion men and women who have served brave­ly in Afghanistan to keep our coun­try safe, includ­ing our resilient wound­ed war­riors who car­ry the scars of war, seen and unseen.” 

“We hon­or the mem­o­ry of the near­ly 1,800 Amer­i­can patri­ots, and many coali­tion and Afghan part­ners, who have made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice in Afghanistan for our shared secu­ri­ty and free­dom,” he con­tin­ued. “We pay trib­ute to our inspir­ing mil­i­tary fam­i­lies who have per­se­vered at home with a loved one at war.” 

Oba­ma also reaf­firmed the U.S. com­mit­ment to pro­vide 9/11 gen­er­a­tion vet­er­ans the “care, ben­e­fits and oppor­tu­ni­ties they deserve.” In addi­tion, he expressed thanks to diplo­mat­ic, intel­li­gence, home­land secu­ri­ty and law enforce­ment pro­fes­sion­als who have worked tire­less­ly over the past decade to pro­tect the Unit­ed States and save Amer­i­can lives. 

“Thanks to the extra­or­di­nary ser­vice of these Amer­i­cans, our cit­i­zens are safer and our nation is more secure,” he said. “As we reflect on 10 years of war and look ahead to a future of peace, Michelle and I call upon all Amer­i­cans to show our grat­i­tude and sup­port for our fel­low cit­i­zens who risk their lives so that we can enjoy the bless­ings of free­dom and security.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →