BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - President Barack Obama says the U.S. will likely maintain a limited role in Afghanistan even after its combat mission ends this year and America's longest war comes to a close.
The president slipped into Afghanistan on Sunday for a surprise Memorial Day visit with U.S. service members.
Speaking at Bagram Air Field, he pledged that "America's commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure."
Obama said the war had reached a pivotal point, with Afghan forces assuming primary responsibility for their country's security.
While many of the 32,800 U.S. forces now in Afghanistan will leave in the coming months, Obama said a continued military presence could help protect gains made during nearly 13 years of fighting.
He told the troops "we're going to make sure that Afghanistan can never again, ever, be used again to launch an attack against our country."
Obama will be heading back home after a refueling stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.