Friday, September 12, 2014

DTN News - AFGHAN WAR NEWS: Thirteen Years Later, ISAF Remembers The Fallen

DTN News - AFGHAN WAR NEWS: Thirteen Years Later, ISAF Remembers The Fallen
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Story and photo by Lt. Michael J. Fallon - ISAF Headquarters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - September 12, 2014KABUL, Afghanistan - “Thirteen years ago, on a clear summer morning, al-Qaeda struck the American homeland, and our world irrevocably changed,” said Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces - Afghanistan.

Campbell delivered remarks during a ceremony at ISAF headquarters to honor those lost on September 11, 2001 and the sacrifices of countless others since that fateful day. 

“Two airplanes sliced through the New York City skyline and smashed into the World Trade Center complex.  Less than one hour later, an additional plane crashed into the Pentagon.  Minutes later, another -- also headed for the American capital -- plummeted to the earth in Pennsylvania.  When it was over, 2,977 men, women, and children representing over 90 countries, diverse cultures, and myriad religions lay dead, innocent victims of one of history's most brazen and reprehensible terrorist strikes.”

The skies over Kabul were clear and quiet as the group paused for a moment of reflection.  The familiar sound of Blackhawk helicopters was nowhere to be heard.  However, looking back on the thirteen years of combat operations in Afghanistan, such tranquility has been rare.  America’s longest war has been an enduring path of combating terrorists and those who harbor them, of rebuilding the infrastructure of a nation ravaged by decades of war, and of assisting the Afghan government in attaining the goals of peace and stability that have eluded this region for so long. 

“Our coalition and Afghan partners have applied relentless pressure against the terrorist networks that operate here,” said Campbell.  “We have thoroughly disrupted their abilities to plan and execute further attacks against the West.”

On this solemn day, those gathered around the world acknowledged that the pursuit of terrorists who threaten the freedom of Afghanistan and, in fact, freedom everywhere has not come quickly or easily.  Many have sacrificed greatly, but Campbell explained the necessity of taking this battle to the enemy: “As we found out on 9/11, the cost of our neglect could be far more expensive.” 

By going after these terrorist networks, the opportunity has emerged to establish a strong, credible Afghan security network.  This build-up of Afghan security capabilities is critical to the nation’s future as the coalition mission shifts from combat operations to training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces at the end of this year.  In addressing the troops gathered at ISAF, Campbell stated:

“Thanks in large part to your efforts, the Afghan National Security Forces have become increasingly capable, confident, and credible. They've been in the lead for security efforts during two fighting seasons and are more than holding their own against a determined enemy. They have also earned the Afghan people's admiration and trust, and today, the ANSF proudly stands as the most respected institution in Afghanistan.” 

Though the mission has evolved over the years, the determination to rid the world of terrorists and those who support them is as palpable as ever among Afghan and coalition forces.

At a ceremony in Kabul -- a world away from New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania -- a flag flies at half-staff as this international coalition gathers to remember the atrocities of September 11, 2001, atrocities whose inception was born here and whose effects reverberated around the globe. 

Campbell reflected on the memory of those lost to that vicious awakening thirteen years ago today and on the resolve shown since.

“We will continue to protect our homelands by preventing Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for terrorism.  This will be our most important legacy and tribute to our fallen heroes.”

*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Story and photo by Lt. Michael J. Fallon - ISAF Headquarters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

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