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Secretary of State John Kerry comments on decision to leave troops in Afghanistan during IU visit

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Oct. 15, 2015) - The nation learned troops will stay on the ground in Afghanistan just minutes before Secretary of State John Kerry took the stage at Indiana University.

"President Obama's announcement today will help protect our country, as well as help Afghanistan," said Secretary of State Kerry.

Kerry addressed a packed house at the Indiana University Auditorium. He said 5,500 troops will stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2016.

"This decision is the result of an extended process of review designed to ensure that our fundamental interests in that country are protected. Our continued investment there is essential to the new government of national unity, the support that is needs to implement reforms and defend its population against violent extremist," said Kerry.

The secretary of state celebrated IU's new School of Global and International Studies. His visit marked the first from a sitting secretary of state in 20 years. University officials dedicated a brand new state-of-the-art building for the school Thursday afternoon.

"Just tying everything back to the development of the  school and why it's important to think in global terms, to understand global affairs, to understand the world in order to change it," said Taha Hameduddin, a PHD student at the university.

Kerry addressed pressing issues facing the United States like the Iran nuclear deal, terrorism and global warming. He also condemned recent attacks in Israel and said he plans to visit the region soon.

"We will continue to support Israel's right to defend its existence, it is critically important though that calm be restored," said Kerry.