New U.S. defense chief in Afghanistan seeking 'lasting' success




 
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February 21st, 2015  
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Topic: New U.S. defense chief in Afghanistan seeking 'lasting' success


By Phil Stewart KABUL (Reuters) - New U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday on his first trip since taking over the job this week, saying he wanted to talk to Afghan and American officials to ensure a "lasting" success as U.S. troops withdraw. "Were looking for success in Afghanistan that is lasting, and the lasting accomplishment of our mission here," Carter said in his first news conference since taking the job. "How to do that, what the best way to do that is, is precisely what Im here to assess." President Barack Obama's plans call for cutting U.S. troops from about 10,000 now to 5,500 by the end of this year and drawing down to a U.S. embassy presence in Kabul at the end of 2016. The drawdown strategy has also drawn sharp criticism from Republicans in Congress, who say that the hard-fought gains made against the Taliban could be lost in much the same way that sectarian violence returned to Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal.




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