Obama Tells Troops ‘Our Job Is Not Finished’

Jun 23, 2011 8:42am

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

The day after announcing his strategy to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan, President Obama visited troops at Fort Drum today, telling soldiers who have fought in the war-torn country that we have turned a corner but “our job is not finished.”

In an informal gathering Obama told members of the 10th Mountain Division that the drawdown will not be precipitous.  “We’re going to do it in a steady way to make sure that the gains that all of you helped to bring about are going to be sustained,” he said.

Last night the president announced that he is bringing 10,000 U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by the end of this year and another 23,000 by the end of next summer. Today, however, he warned that “there’s still some fighting to be done.”

“We’re still going to have 68,000 [troops in Afghanistan].  And, frankly, the 10th Mountain Division is still going to be represented there until we have fully transferred to the Afghan military and security forces,” he said.

The president recognized the 270 soldiers that the division has lost since the attacks on 9/11. “We will never forget their sacrifice.  And the reason that I know many of you continue to do the outstanding work that you do is not only love of country but it’s also love for each other, and your commitment to making sure that those sacrifices were not in vain,” he said. 

“So, for all the sacrifices that you’ve made, I want to say thank you.  For all the sacrifices that your families have made, I want to say thank you,” he said. “And to all of you who are potentially going to be redeployed, just know that your Commander-in-Chief has your back.”

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