Obama Rallies Troops in Afghanistan: 'Tired of Playing Defense'

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The public is even more weary of the war than ever, with 54 percent saying things are going badly for U.S. forces, in a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll released this week. The survey also showed approximately four in 10 Americans believing U.S. troops should be withdrawn sooner than 2014 -- and half of Democrats feeling that way.

A Quinnipiac poll in November showed overall support for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in negative territory for the first time, 44 percent of the public supporting the U.S. role, 50 percent opposing it.

The new Congress the president will be dealing with next month may prove tricky. Many moderate Democrats supportive of the president's efforts were defeated, leaving the president a Democratic caucus that do not support the war. Republicans have been infused with a less predictable freshman class, many with roots in the Tea Party movement. White House officials have expressed concern that many may have a more isolationist view of the world.

ABC News' Huma Khan contributed to this report.

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