Commander in Afghanistan Says Soldiers Happy, Subdued

by admin on May 2, 2011

by Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio

A battalion commander from Fort Knox says American troops in Afghanistan are thrilled by the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

However, Lieutenant Colonel James Vizzard says the soldiers are surprisingly subdued.

“I think that’s because folks here understand this is a very, very important moment, but it’s just one moment in a much larger struggle. We were back to work five minutes later doing what we were doing and we still have a lot of work to do,” he said, speaking by telephone from Afghanistan. “There are a lot of people who needed to see this particular event closed. It would’ve been terrible if he had simply died in a cave somewhere and we’d never known about it. So it’s very good that this is as clear as it can possibly get.”

Vizzard says bin Laden’s death is just one moment in a larger struggle. He adds that the response from U.S. forces in Afghanistan has been tempered by the start of the summer fighting season. Many of the insurgents who left the area for the winter have returned and are responsible for an uptick in civilian deaths.

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