President Obama is marking the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan with a statement that says he is bringing the conflict to a “responsible conclusion.”

In his statement, Obama argues that the United States is safer and more secure because of the 13-year conflict, the longest war in U.S. history.

He argues that troops and intelligence personnel have devastated al Qaeda’s core leadership, delivered “justice” to Osama bin Laden, disrupted terrorist plots and saved U.S. lives.
He also said the forces have helped the Afghan people “reclaim their communities, take the lead for their own security, hold historic elections and complete the first democratic transfer of power in their country’s history.”

The U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan officially ended Sunday, with a little more than 10,000 U.S. troops left in the country to back up Afghanistan’s forces.

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