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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Four Iraqi commandos at the base were among those awarded medals by Defense Secretary Ash Carter during his visit earlier this month. David Welna/NPR hide caption

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David Welna/NPR

Defense Secretary Ash Carter Predicts 'Tough Fight' Ahead To Retake Mosul

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U.S. Army Capt. Gerrard Spinney (right) speaks to his Iraqi army counterpart from the Ninawa Operations Command prior to a security meeting at Camp Swift, Iraq, earlier this month. 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson/AP hide caption

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1st Lt. Daniel Johnson/AP

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, shown here at his Pentagon office in February, said the attempted coup in Turkey last week caught everyone by surprise. But he does not believe it will harm the battle against the Islamic State in Syria. The U.S. uses an air base in Turkey to launch strikes against ISIS. Ariel Zambelich / NPR hide caption

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Ariel Zambelich / NPR

Defense Secretary: Turkey's Turmoil Shouldn't Harm Battle Against ISIS

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces new rules allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in the U.S. military, during a news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Pentagon Says Transgender Troops Can Now Serve Openly

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Sgt. Kelly Brown puts her weapon over her shoulder at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., in March. On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that women would be allowed to serve in combat jobs. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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David Gilkey/NPR

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month. In an interview on CNN Sunday, Carter complained that Iraqi forces lacked "the will to fight" the self-declared Islamic State. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP