The month of August, 2011 proved to be the deadliest month for the International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan as it resulted in the death of around 82 soldiers. Out of these 82 soldiers, 66 were Americans, which is the largest number of American soldiers targeted in one month. Earlier the largest number of American soldiers targeted in a single month was 65, which was in July 2010.
The main incident in the month was the death of 30 American elite Navy SEAL's which took place when the American Chinook helicopter was shot down on August 6. Apart from this tragic incident, the rest of the soldiers were mostly targeted in southern regions of Afghanistan, dominantly in Qandahar and Helmand Provinces that have basically been the main focus of American forces while some other were targeted in eastern Afghanistan.
While paying tribute to the American soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, US President Barack Obama said in American Legions' national convention in Minneapolis, "As our mission transitions from combat to support, Afghans will take responsibility for their own security and the longest war in American history will come to a responsible end," and "For our troops and military families who have sacrificed so much, this means relief from an unrelenting decade of operations."
But there are many doubts and controversies regarding the above mentioned statements of the President Barack Obama. First of all there are concerns regarding the capability of Afghan forces to be able to shoulder the responsibility of 'their own security' and there are ambiguities regarding the process of transition.
It is difficult to predict that the ongoing process will prove to be a 'transitional period' in Afghan socio-political scenario that will end in better results. Moreover, it is also difficult to prognosticate at the moment whether the Afghan war will come to a 'responsible end'.
As the terrorist networks are still in strength in different parts of country and are able to threaten the security arrangement to a large extent. Further, the political setup that has been developed does not seem to have reliable future and can not compensate for the demands of the diverse Afghan society and does not guarantee good governance.
Moreover, the economic setup is very much shaky and would require international assistance for many years to come. In President Obama's point of view the withdrawal may mean relief from an unrelenting decade of operations for American troops and military families, but for the people of Afghanistan, it may not prove to be a sigh of relief unless there are necessary and quick measures carried out regarding the political and economic stability and reliable security before the withdrawal completes.