National News

Mar 8, 2013 2:01 PM by Associated Press

Pentagon chief Hagel makes 1st trip to Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - America's new defense secretary says "we are still at war" in Afghanistan -- and that it's important to remember why the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the days after the 9/11 attacks.

Chuck Hagel says the reasons included the need to rid the country of terrorists and a hostile government. He says there is "a lot at stake" and the job of handing security over to the Afghans has to be done right.

Hagel is making his first visit to Afghanistan since taking over for Leon Panetta. He made four trips to Afghanistan during his two terms as Nebraska senator.

Hagel was confirmed by the Senate last week after a bruising confirmation fight.

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