karzai-obama

President Barack Obama said U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan will adopt a “support role” starting in the spring of 2013, to allow Afghan police and soldiers to take full responsibility of the country’s security, a nation where 2,053 American soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7, 2001.

Seventy-two percent of those casualties occurred during Obama’s first term.

“And today we agreed, as Afghan forces take the lead and as President Karzai announces the final phase of the transition, coalition forces will move to a support role this spring,” Obama said Friday at the White House, alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.