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Ashton Carter: US Forces Granted Added Flexibility to Support Afghan Military

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said U.S. military forces in Afghanistan will deliver added firepower support and advise ground and air troops of the Afghan military, DoD News reported Wednesday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes President Barack Obama approved plans to provide additional flexibility for U.S. forces in Afghanistan to proactively support local conventional forces through firepower, close-air support as well as ground and air advisory support.

“In practical terms, this means U.S. forces will have more opportunities to accompany and enable Afghan conventional forces, just like we have already been doing with Afghan special operations forces,” Carter said at a news conference in Brussels.

The report added that U.S. and NATO counterparts’ defense budgets will include funding for national defense and security forces stationed in Afghanistan through 2020.

Carter also indicated other NATO countries have committed to deploy forces to Afghanistan beyond 2016 as part of the coalition’s Resolute Support mission.

DoD said the U.S. also works with allied countries to defeat the Islamic State militant group through NATO operations in western and northern Iraq as well as northern Syria.

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