Obama review cements troop withdrawal, challenges

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama's Afghanistan war review will conclude the United States has made enough security gains to begin withdrawing troops in July, but the findings also will emphasize lasting troubles, from Afghanistan's ability to serve its people to Pakistani havens for extremists.
In a detailed preview of statements Obama will make Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the yearlong review of Obama's war plan essentially will offer no surprises. The president plans to stick with his pledge to start bringing home troops in midyear 2011 after ordering one year ago that 30,000 more troops be sent to Afghanistan to blunt the Taliban's momentum. The goal of coalition forces is to shift control to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.
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