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What's a landmark day today in Afghanistan.
As the last of the 33000.
Surge troops that were ordered there.
By President Obama nearly two years ago leave the country.
That leaves 768000.
US troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
51 NATO troops have been killed in recent months by those they were sent there to train.
It is to say the least is very challenging time right now from coalition forces.
Molly Henneberg -- -- Washington's ally the Defense Secretary says that the surge did what it needed to do.
What does -- mean.
-- he means that the troops went -- and they helps with the ongoing transition from NATO led security to Afghan led security.
And -- out on schedule that's what secretary Leon Panetta says.
He went on -- -- statement to say that the last surge troops leaving Afghanistan quote is an opportunity to recognize that the surge accomplished its objectives of reversing Taliban momentum on the battlefield.
And dramatically increase the size in capability of the Afghan national security forces.
Secretary Panetta says the 68000 American troops still in Afghanistan remain in a quote tough flight.
And he says the full transition to Afghan control will be complete by the end of 2014.
When the US and other NATO allies plan to pull out the rest of the troops.
I mentioned in the introduction -- about green on blue violence that we have seen so much.
And the Defense Secretary has had a bit of a different interpretation -- it's a difficult time for our troops.
It isn't as you're -- one of the biggest challenges this year has been those insider attacks supposedly friendly Afghan army or police officers who turn on -- US and NATO partners and kill them.
51 coalition troops have been killed in this way this year as -- NATO is stopping most of the once routine joint patrols between coalition forces and Afghan units.
Except in certain cases.
The deputy chief of NATO's operations Australian brigadier general Roger noble.
Says the insider attacks quote strike right at the heart of our resolve it's one thing to be killed in action by the insurgents.
It's quite another to be shot in the back of the head at night.
By your friends.
Defense Secretary Panetta has said the US is quote turn the corner and Afghanistan.
And he says the US commander in Afghanistan general John Allen.
Has assured him that he has the number of troops he needs to accomplish the mission of turning security over to the Afghans by the -- -- -- -- fourteen.
And I thank you very much my -- -- and Washington.
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