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U.S. Defense Secretary praises Afghan Army

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KANDAHAR: United States Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, thanked Afghan Army on the progress they have achieved and called Afghanistan’s army a powerful force in their own right when he wrapped up two days in southern Kandahar province by consulting with US and Afghan commanders.

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His visit was to Train and Assist Command South (TAAC), formerly Regional Command South (RCS). He appreciated the performance of Afghan and NATO and said, “We will never be gone from Afghanistan because Afghanistan is an important country in the world.” he added, “but when our presence here to reduced to something much smaller than today, we want to make sure that Afghans themselves are able to preserve the environment our forces have created over the last few years, one of relative security and stability.”

Carter wrapped up two days in the war zone by consulting with US and Afghan commanders at Kandahar airfield, an important hub in the network of US advisory posts that are due to close before year’s end. Meeting with reporters at this base in southern Afghanistan, Carter declined to say whether his visit had convinced him that the Kandahar operation should stay open longer.

While addressing with troops in Kandahar Airfield, he said, “There’s one thing President Ghani said that I want to share with you. He said, ‘Would you please tell your people that I appreciate the sacrifice they have made for my country.’”

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Carter said, “Just think about that — remember that.”

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