This article has more pathetic hagiography of the military commander than what you find in Ba`thist newspapers: "In a sweeping speech at the ceremony on Sunday, General Allen was at turns thoughtful and filled with emotion as he spoke about the price of the war for American and foreign troops, the persistence of the Taliban and their allies, and his growing belief since his arrival in July 2011 that Afghanistan could succeed in defending itself and its fledgling democracy. Reflecting the emphasis his command gave to Afghan civilians, he introduced two Afghan students from a nearby high school, a girl and a boy, whom he had invited to the ceremony and had seated in the first row — saying, in essence, that they were the future that Western and Afghan troops were fighting for. And he expressed that, despite the concerns he had as he took up command, he was leaving with “an optimism and a very real sense of knowing that we will be victorious.” “I believe that in 10 years, Afghanistan will never again be the place between empires caught in the grindstone of international politics,” he said, referring to the country’s neighbors who at different times have fought each other or fought proxy wars on Afghan soil. And he added, in a nod to concerns that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups could return to Afghanistan in numbers after the American withdrawal, “I believe that Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven to terrorists.” He became emotional discussing the toll of the long war, twice mentioning the numbers of dead that the United States and its allies had borne. He described how every Sunday his leadership gathered to read the names of those who had been killed the week before, noting that “560 sons and daughters have given their lives” and that 5,500 had been wounded just during the months of his command."