President Obama Declines To Define Victory In Afghanistan

Jun 29, 2011 3:03pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

President Obama said today that “the tide of war is receding” in Afghanistan, but declined to define what victory in the war-torn country would look like.

Instead, the president told reporters at a White House press conference that the U.S. is being successful in its missions, which he described as being “narrowly drawn” and focused on making sure al-Qaeda cannot attack the U.S. and helping Afghans maintain their own security.

Asked about yesterday’s deadly Taliban attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul yesterday and whether it concerns him that Afghan forces may not be able to step up their game, Obama stressed that “our work is not done.”

“Kabul is much safer than it was, and Afghan forces in Kabul are much more capable than they were. That doesn't mean that there are not going to be events like this potentially taking place.  And that will probably go on for some time,” he said.

The press conference, Obama’s 14th since taking office, comes one week after he announced his strategy to withdraw the 33,000 “surge” troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, several months earlier than originally anticipated.

"Keep in mind, the drawdown hasn't begun. So we understood that Afghanistan's a dangerous place, that the Taliban is still active and that there are still going to be events like this on occasion," Obama said.

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