The US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged a comprehensive support by the United States to continue building the Afghan security forces combat capacity including aviation.
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said Mr. Carter hailed the Afghan forces for their sacrifices as he called Afghanistan an important and strategic ally of the United States.
Carter said the Afghan forces have proved their capabilities have improved in the fight against terrorism and US remains committed to further equip and fund the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
He pledged a a comprehensive support by US to equip and fund the Afghan Air Force so that the air forces can have further achievements along with the ground forces to defeat terrorism.
Carter later appeared in a press conference with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and said 8,400 US forces will remain in Afghanistan through 2017 with a broader a role as per his recommendations.
The Secretary of Defense further added “We will continue to provide financial support to Afghan forces and this will continue through 2020.”
The Department of Defense (DoD) earlier said “I n addition to several engagements with U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan, Carter will meet with Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and other senior officers to hear their assessment of the security situation and international efforts to help the government of Afghanistan improve security in the country.”
A statement by DoD said “Carter will also receive an update on recent, successful U.S. counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Afghanistan.”
The statement further added “In his meetings with senior Afghan officials, the release said, the secretary will discuss the growing capabilities and resilience demonstrated by Afghan security forces in recent months. He will also discuss ongoing efforts to continue building Afghan combat capacity including aviation.”
According to Defense Department, Carter is in the midst of a round-the-world trip to thank deployed U.S. troops for their service over the holidays, meet with important regional partners, and advance U.S. priorities including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and the lasting defeat of ISIL