Carrier to protect Afghan withdrawal

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has decided to keep an aircraft carrier in the Middle East to help provide protection for American and coalition troops during their planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in coming weeks, his spokesman said Friday, the Navy Times reports.

The spokesman, John Kirby, said Austin approved an extension of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deployment in the Middle East for “a period of time.” He also said two U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers have arrived in the region as part of the pre-pullout bolstering of security, which he called a prudent precaution.

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