- The Washington Times - Friday, November 11, 2016

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he’s not wading into the politics of the presidential election, but encouraged the soon-to-be Trump administration to keep up the campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group.

“Keep at the campaign,” Mr. Carter said in an interview for Friday’s “CBS This Morning.”

“Finish the destruction of ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Continue to strike them elsewhere where they arise, like Libya and Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the group also known as ISIL or ISIS.

“And then, above all, protect our own citizens and our own people, which is not simply a military task, but involves intelligence and law enforcement and homeland security,” he said.

In September, President-elect Donald Trump had said that under President Obama, the country’s generals have been “reduced to rubble” to a point “where it’s embarrassing for our country.”

But Mr. Carter said the country’s military officers are the ones who know how the current operation is working.

“Our military officers, remember by this time, after 15 years of this kind of campaign, are vastly knowledgeable about how to carry out counterinsurgency campaigns … carry out counterterrorism campaigns,” Mr. Carter said.

“So there’s a vast reservoir of experience and wisdom and strategic thinking here,” he said. “And, you know, one of my jobs as secretary of Defense is always to make sure that professional military advice is made available to our policy makers.”

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