New Defense Chief Meets Troops in Afghanistan
“Newly-minted Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived here to visit American troops and meet with top Afghan and U.S. officials amid the likelihood that President Barack Obama’s plans to drawdown forces here would soon be revisited,” Defense One reports.
“Carter was sworn into office on Tuesday and this is his first overseas trip as Pentagon chief but it is the 10th visit to Afghanistan. The top Afghanistan war commander, Gen. John Campbell, has been candid about his hope for more “flexibility” in the drawdown plans, first announced by the president last year. That hope is widely taken to mean that he wants additional troops to stay longer in Afghanistan to conduct counterterrorism missions and train and advise Afghan forces. Under Obama’s plan, there would be all but a handful of troops in the country by the end of 2016. There are currently about 10,000 American service members left serving in Afghanistan.”