On June, 11, 2010, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry delivered remarks to the Command and General Staff College graduation ceremony at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The ambassador began his remarks by extending greetings and expressing gratitude to the students from the over 1,000 men and women serving with the U.S. diplomatic Mission in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Eikenberry said, "I want first to say thank you. I know a vast number of you have spent much of your military careers in Afghanistan or Iraq -- and in many cases, both. You and your families have my own and your country's deep appreciation for the sacrifices you are making to keep our country safe."
He continued, "Afghanistan has been at the center of my career most of the last eight-plus years. Throughout that time, I have led and lived and worked with courageous Americans who are absolutely committed to defending our nation under the most difficult and dangerous conditions. My professional experiences there have brought home to me the truth in President Obama's words when he said, 'Only the coordinated application of diplomatic, economic and military means can deliver lasting success when faced with international security threats and challenges. And that means we need warriors, diplomats and developers to accomplish our mission.'
"In Afghanistan, we use a Dari language term to refer to the close, mutually supportive partnership that exists between ISAF and Afghan forces: 'Shohna ba Shohna,' or 'Shoulder to Shoulder.' I think that term, that commitment to support each other, also applies to the way our military and civilians must partner to bring enduring security -- and the accountable governance and economic development that anchors it -- to Afghanistan. Our military and civilian personnel do not and should not play identical roles in Afghanistan, but none of us can accomplish our mission there without our partners in the fight."
Read Ambassador Eikenberry's full remarks here.