Afghanistan Mission Remains on Track, Defense Spokesman Says


The U.S. military presence in Afghanistan continues to provide support to the Afghan government and its armed forces “so that they can secure the country for themselves,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters today.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with service members at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2016. DoD photo by Ben Santos
Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with service members at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2016. DoD photo by Ben Santos
Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with service members at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2016. DoD photo by Ben Santos
Carter Speaks
Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with service members at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2016. DoD photo by Ben Santos
Photo By: Ben Santos
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He said Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of the Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and his team “work very closely with the government, with the armed forces of Afghanistan.”

‘We Feel Good About the Situation Right Now in Afghanistan’

The separate counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is also ongoing, Cook said, and is “critically important to the United States in keeping the homeland safe.”

“We feel good about the situation right now in Afghanistan with regard to the support we’re providing along with other members of the NATO coalition,” he said. “In terms of bolstering the Afghan security forces, improving their fighting capabilities on their own, so that ultimately they can secure the country on their own. We see progress there.”

Afghanistan is still dangerous and challenges there remain, Cook said.

“We will continue to provide the kind of support we can to bolster the Afghan security forces,” he said. “That is an important mission.”

Follow Karen Parrish on Twitter: @dodnewskparrish)