Barack Obama celebrated the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan today at New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The AP reported:
Marking what he called a “turning point” for the U.S. military, President Barack Obama on Monday saluted troops returning from Afghanistan and declared the United States is moving past the time for large deployments aimed at nation building.
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Obama noted that nearly 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan when he took office, and that number will be down to less than 15,000 at the end of the month.
“The time of deploying large ground forces with big military footprints to engage in nation building overseas, that’s coming to an end,” the commander in chief said in a speech to 3,000 at New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a launching point for deployments to Afghanistan.
U.S. and NATO troops closed their operational command in Afghanistan last week after 13 years of war. Some troops will remain, however, to carry out operations against Taliban and al-Qaida targets.