“I want to commend the millions of Afghans who went to the polls today to vote for their next president. The open and responsible debate among the candidates over the past two months, and the turnout for these elections, demonstrates to the world that the Afghan people want to determine their own future. The Afghan National Security Forces should be commended for providing the security which enabled these elections to take place. I thank U.S. forces and ISAF personnel for supporting the ANSF, and greatly appreciate General Dunford’s steady leadership throughout this process.
“As Afghanistan begins a peaceful transfer of power, and we look ahead to the end of our combat mission later this year, we should not lose sight of how much we have accomplished. The progress we have seen in Afghanistan is a testament to the tireless efforts and sacrifices of American, ISAF, and Afghan personnel. But above all, it shows the strength and resilience of the Afghan people, and of the partnership the United States has built with them. It is a partnership that will endure.”