Carter Visits Troops in Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrapped up his week-long trip to the Middle East with a visit to a forward operating base in Afghanistan on Dec. 18, where he thanked troops for their service during the holidays and discussed the road ahead in the country. “I know it’s tough to be away from your families during this time of year, but the sacrifices you are making are giving people all around the world, including here in Afghanistan, the opportunity to live their own lives with their families in peace,” Carter said. Carter visited FOB Fenty in Jalalabad, alongside Afghan Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai and US Army Gen. John Campbell, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and US Forces-Afghanistan. Campbell, during a media briefing on Dec. 18, said the operation is dealing with a growing threat from ISIS in the country. He referred to the terrorist organization in Afghanistan as an “operational emergent,” noting there are between 1,000 and 3,000 ISIS fighters in the country. “It doesn’t have the capability, I believe, to go to Europe and attack Europe, or go to the homeland at this point,” said Campbell. “Left unchecked, it will.”