A U.S. military town in California broadly backs President Barack Obama's decision to delay the withdrawal of 9,800 troops from Afghanistan. Paul Chapman reports.
Oceanside in California has the Marines' largest West Coast base as its neighbour. President Barack Obama's decision to delay the withdrawal of 9, 800 U.S. troops from Afghanistan appears to win broad support among its residents, many of them retired military members. (SOUNDBITE)(English) STAN SMITH RETIRED MARINE VETERAN FORMERLY STATIONED AT CAMP PENDLETON, SAYING: "I'm thankful that he's not going to pull out like he did with Iraq. We wouldn't have the problems in Iraq if they'd have stayed. Let's hope these troops are enough." (SOUNDBITE)(English) RETIRED ARMY VETERAN EARL BREUKER, SAYING: "We're going to give up all that we've gained down there in the Middle East if we were to take out the troops. It's all going to go back down the tubes." For the families of soldiers still in the military it's harder to accept. (SOUNDBITE)(English) CHARLES A. EDWARDS, FATHER OF ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE MEMBER, SAYING: "My son has less than a year to complete his 20 years, I was truly, truly hoping that he would be getting out, but he signed on for two more years prior to this announcement. He and I have some talking to do." Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says it's a chance for the U.S. to finish what it started in Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASHTON CARTER SAYING: "We're adjusting our presence, based on conditions on the ground, to give the United States and our allies the capability to sustain a robust counter-terrorism platform, denying a safe haven for terrorist and violent extremist organisations. This will keep Americans safer back home." Afghan forces have struggled in the face of Taliban attacks following the end of the U.S.-led combat mission in 2014. Obama says U.S. forces still won't be involved in combat roles - instead they'll continue to train and advise Afghan troops and protect U.S. security from al Qaeda remnants.