Defense Secretary Says Work is Not Done in Afghanistan

Comments come on one-year anniversary of withdrawal.

Defense Secretary sent a memo to all Department of Defense Personnel stating that the U.S. went to Afghanistan in 2001 to “wage a necessary war of self-defense” in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Since then, “no enemy has been able to launch such an attack on our homeland” due to the department’s efforts to defend citizens against terrorist threats, he added.

Marking the first anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from that nation, he acknowledged that America’s work there “is not done.”

“Still, we know this work is not done. We must keep a relentless focus on counterterrorism—and we are,” he said. “We’re committed to supporting a whole-of-government effort to address the root causes of violent extremism. No one should doubt America’s resolve to keep our people safe.”

In Tuesday’s memorandum, the Pentagon chief expressed “profound gratitude” to all who served in Afghanistan for the prior two decades — including American service members, veterans of the war and their families.

Secretary Austin, who is also a veteran of the war, said he witnessed “firsthand the bravery, selflessness, and compassion that our men and women brought to the fight.”

“Two decades of noble service demanded significant and selfless sacrifice. Many Service members still bear the wounds of war, to body and to soul, and 2,461 brave heroes never made it home,” the defense secretary wrote.

He commended Gold Star families and their sacrifices. He concluded, “To every man and woman who served in Afghanistan: This country will never forget what you did and what you gave.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Austin as he assesses the situation in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. withdrawal.
  • For Pentagon officials as they evaluate the current circumstances in the Middle East.
  • For the safety of U.S. military forces who are deployed in nearby nations.

Sources: Department of Defense, The Hill


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