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U.S. Defense Secretary Makes Last Afghanistan Visit

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter previously met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on July 12.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has made an unannounced visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Carter arrived in Kabul on December 9 and was expected to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani later the same day.

It is most likely Carter’s last trip to Afghanistan as defense secretary before the new U.S. administration takes office next month.

Carter's press secretary, Peter Cook, told journalists that the secretary wants to discuss "the growing capabilities" of Afghan security forces and "ongoing efforts to continue building Afghan combat capacity, including aviation."

The United States has about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan on a mission to support and train Afghan security forces.

More than 2,200 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion to overthrow the Taliban government there.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters