WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter urged Congress Thursday to adopt a proposed budget amendment that he said is "vitally important for our national security."

In a statement issued after the administration proposed the plan, Carter said it reflects the evolving nature of the military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

The proposed amendment funds initiatives based on recommendations by military commanders that he and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reviewed and that President Barack Obama approved, Carter said, adding that the measure will hasten ISIL's defeat and make the United States more secure.


The counter-ISIL strategy is demonstrating results on the battlefield, the secretary said, noting that Iraqi security forces are currently operating inside Mosul, freeing Iraq's second-largest city from ISIL's control, and that operations have begun to isolate and eventually liberate Raqqa, the Syrian city that ISIL has declared the capital of the caliphate it claims to have established.

"Additional resources will help sustain that positive momentum by boosting our support to partner forces and our intelligence efforts," Carter said. "In addition to enhancing our effort to defeat ISIL, this plan would fund the president's decision to adjust our troop levels to better support the Afghan government's strategy to secure its nation, and would help enhance Afghanistan's aviation capability."

Carter called the proposed budget amendment "a balanced package" that also supports critical efforts by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to boost national security.

"As we've shown results on the battlefield, we need to support the diplomatic engagement, governance and stabilization components of the counter-ISIL campaign, as well as relief and recovery efforts that together will help make sure that ISIL, once defeated, stays defeated," the secretary said. "The package supports our State Department and USAID colleagues with needed security funding and supports humanitarian assistance and efforts to counter violent extremism in the Middle East and beyond.

"It adheres to the balanced principles that form the bipartisan basis for the much-needed budget stability we have recently enjoyed," he continued. "In contrast to some congressional proposals, it does not risk that stability and supports emergent defense and non-defense requirements.

"Swift passage of this plan will help the Department of Defense and our partners in the U.S. government and around the world protect this nation, and I urge Congress to support it."