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Published:July 13th, 2016 16:42 EST
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Ash Carter: U.S. Troop Level in Afghanistan Bolsters Global Counter-Terrorism Fight

By SOP newswire3

Addressing U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan yesterday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said President Barack Obama`s announcement last week that the U.S. would maintain 8,400 troops in that country into next year bolsters the fight against terrorists around the globe.

Carter said the president`s decision will ensure that the Afghan forces have success next year based upon our experience in the last fighting season and up to this time in this fighting season. "

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Refresh, Retrain Afghan Forces

The secretary said the number of U.S. troops will aid in the process of refreshing and retraining " Afghan security forces.

Calling the effort sensible, " the secretary also said next year`s U.S. defense budget provides full funding to continue the mission.

In Poland last week at NATO`s Warsaw Summit, the United States` coalition allies agreed to provide the same support, Carter added.

The United States` and its allies` efforts in Afghanistan aim to make sure that Afghanistan can control its own territory [and] give its own people a better life " [and] never again become a platform from which attacks can be launched on our country, and our people and our society, " Carter emphasized.

And, the United States is committed to stick with " that effort so it succeeds, " the defense secretary said.

But right now, they need our help, " Carter said of Afghanistan`s government, adding, And we`re going to continue to provide that help. "

The United States wants Afghanistan as a long-term friend and security partner, the secretary said.

Afghan Partners

Look at a map of this region. [It`s] not a bad place to have good friends. So we`re in this for the long run, " Carter said.

Providing support to Afghanistan and its security forces demonstrates America`s commitment, he said.

It`s buying a little extra insurance next year for us to make sure that we continue to be able to do what we`re doing now, " the secretary said of helping the Afghans defeat various terrorist groups that are trying to tyrannize a country that was busted up for decades, " and use it to mount attacks on the United States.

This is a really important part of the world. And it`s a really important moment to be here, " Carter told the U.S. troops. And here you are, doing what you`re doing with this part of your lives. You should feel very good about it. " I`m very proud of what you`ve done. "

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)

http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/836658/carter-us-troop-level-in-afghanistan-bolsters-global-counter-terrorism-fight

Photo Credit: Wikipedia