American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – With Afghanistan’s national security forces now leading all security operations throughout the country, the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan today congratulated the Afghan people.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. called the milestone “a monumental step forward.”
“No longer are the Afghan people reliant on coalition forces to provide security,” the general said. “Afghan soldiers and police are now protecting fellow Afghans.”
The announcement of what planners call “Tranche 5” in the transition process begins the final phase of Afghan forces assuming full security responsibility throughout Afghanistan.
“This is a cause for celebration, not apprehension,” Dunford told the Afghan people. “While the nature of our relationship is changing, the commitment of the international community to the people of Afghanistan remains resolute and enduring.”
Two weeks ago, NATO’s defense ministers approved the concept for a new mission in Afghanistan beginning in 2015. The details of this new mission, called Resolute Support, will be developed in the coming months, officials said.
“Challenges lie ahead,” Dunford said. “But today’s announcement recognizes the ability of a sovereign Afghanistan to meet those challenges. The Afghan people will see their sons and daughters providing security. The enemies of Afghanistan will see a capable, credible force.
“Today is a proud day for Afghanistan,” he continued. “We in the coalition look forward to supporting you in the months and years ahead as you seize the opportunity to realize your dreams of a peaceful, prosperous future.”