Gen. John R. Allen, right, says goodbye to U.S. and Afghan troops during his last visit to southern Afghanistan.
Departing U.S. General In Afghanistan Weighs Gains And Uncertainty -- Washington Post
KABUL — Gen. John R. Allen was leaving Helmand province for the last time, his jet flying high above the desert moonscape that saw a bloody American military campaign and then an unprecedented withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Allen arrived here 18 months ago, charged with two seemingly contradictory goals: to defuse an active insurgency and bring home 30,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines. Now, after the departure of a third of his force, it’s Allen’s turn to leave Afghanistan, where he says hard-fought security gains have often failed to bring about effective governance that would ensure long-term stability.
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