Carter Reaffirms U.S. Commitment with Afghan Leadership

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 22, 2012 — Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary Ash­ton B. Carter met with Afghan lead­er­ship today and reaf­firmed the U.S. com­mit­ment to train­ing and tran­si­tion­ing Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces and a long-term U.S.-Afghan part­ner­ship, a Pen­ta­gon spokesman said here today.

Navy Capt. John Kir­by said Carter met with Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, com­man­der of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force, and U.S. Ambas­sador to Afghanistan Ryan C. Crock­er to receive secu­ri­ty updates from through­out the coun­try. They also dis­cussed plans to con­tin­ue the tran­si­tion of lead­er­ship respon­si­bil­i­ties to Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces, Kir­by said.

In his meet­ings with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai, Defense Min­is­ter Abdul Rahim War­dak and mem­bers of Afghanistan’s par­lia­ment, Kir­by added, Carter con­veyed Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panetta’s “firm com­mit­ment to work­ing close­ly with the Afghan gov­ern­ment as our two coun­tries con­front com­mon chal­lenges in the region.”

Kir­by said Carter also dis­cussed region­al sup­port for Afghan-led rec­on­cil­i­a­tion efforts to bring for­mer insur­gents back into Afghan soci­ety, as well as progress made in the growth and devel­op­ment of the Afghan forces and the need to con­tin­ue to apply pres­sure to the Tal­iban insur­gency through­out the win­ter.

Tomor­row, Carter will vis­it mil­i­tary units in east­ern and south­ern Afghanistan, Kir­by said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)