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Milley: Afghan future up to international community

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:20 pm

FORT HOOD — Fresh from an Afghanistan deployment, III Corps’ top general spoke about the future of the country before community members Tuesday night at Club Hood.

Commitment from the international community right now is important to the success of Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said during the general membership meeting of the Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

“The big question now is the biggest: commitment. It’s not their commitment, it’s our commitment,” he said. “We’ll see which way the decision-makers decide to go.”

The Phantom Corps returned from Afghanistan in February, just before the country’s presidential election on April 5. Milley described the election as a “strategic event.” On election day, 142 attacks occurred in Afghanistan with few casualties and the enemy “utterly failed to intimidate the Afghan people,” Milley said.

He said the 7 million registered voters went out and created a “resounding referendum that put a stake in the heart of the Taliban and al-Qaida.”

“It wasn’t done by us, it was done by Afghans,” Milley said. “They have no traction with the Afghan people, and that’s what that vote really said.”

More than 6,000 Fort Hood soldiers are currently deployed around the globe, according to data released by the post in March.

Later this year, about 2,400 troops from the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment are expected to deploy to Afghanistan.

“Every one of you can be rightly proud of what little Central Texas is doing for the greater globe,” Milley said. “Not only are we defending the United States, but in many, many ways we’re providing security, reassurance, assuring allies ... and providing some sense of stability in a very turbulent world.”

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