US Afghanistan troops on 9/11

US soldiers now serving in Afghanistan recall the day of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and consider what the future holds over the next 10 years.

By REUTERS
September 9, 2011 14:12
2 minute read.
US soldier in Afghanistan.

US soldier 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Some of the US troops now stationed in Afghanistan were in New York when the September 11th attacks of 2001 took place.

US Army Captain Tim Blair was among them. "I was a senior in high school in New York and not too far away. You actually see the smoke from my school. I remember I had some friends whose parents were working there at the time. I remember my uncle who was a police officer in New York City going to the scene at the towers. I remember my dad had a meeting in the towers at nine a.m. and he missed that meeting by about 15 minutes because he missed his train," Blair said.

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The September 11th attacks triggered the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Ten years on Blair believes peace in Afghanistan is still a long way off.

He explained, "The war will go on for another 10 years, I imagine. It's just a question of whether or not ISAF forces will be involved directly or indirectly with it. We've done a lot here in order to transfer the authority and the ability to conduct the war over to the ANSF (Afghan National Security) forces. We stopped a lot of enemy momentum and we've created momentum of our own to allow ANSF to move the ball forward continuously but it's still going to be a hard fight for the next 10 years for these guys."

Sergeant Amber Robinson at Jalalabad, who's a public affairs officer, says the fight must go on.

"After we were attacked on our own soil, that's when we decided to come here to Afghanistan and deal with the problem at the root and that's what we've been doing for the last ten years. It's been difficult. It's a fight that we have to continue to fight, and fight our best at. But for the most part the Afghan people appreciate what we're here to do," Robinson said.

Others, like Corporal Nicholas Burnett, is ready to go home.

"I think war is never...it's never good. Sometimes it's a necessity, sometimes it has to happen. For another 10 years...I think the job here in Afghanistan is closing to a down and I don't want to see any more Americans come over here and possibly lose their lives. To me and a lot of other soldiers we're just ready to go back home and stay in American for 10 more years and be done with war, personally," Burnett said.

The NATO-led coalition of forces in Afghanistan is expecting to have all its combat troops home by the end of 2014.

The US ambassador to Afghanistan's warned the fight against the Taliban must go on or face the risk of more attacks like those of September 11th, 2001.


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