The United States will start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan in July as promised, President Barack Obama has said as he declared significant progress in disrupting al Qaida and combating the Taliban.
But he warned the war will remain a “very difficult endeavour”.
Heralding a review of his war strategy, Mr Obama said the goal is not to defeat every threat to Afghanistan’s security or to build up the nation.
Rather, he said, the United States continues to shed blood in the war – now in its 10th year – to dismantle the al-Qaida network and push back the Taliban.
“We are on track to achieve our goals,” he said in an address at the White House.
But he added that progress has not come fast enough in Pakistan, where terrorists continue to find safe haven.