WASHINGTON: An aloof national government and terrorist groups operating along its border with Pakistan make Afghanistan a challenge, U.S. President Barack Obama said.
Afghanistan won't experience the “relatively peaceful” election that Iraq had recently because the Afghan government “seems very detached from what's going on in the surrounding community,” Obama said during the first news prime-time news conference of his presidency.
Concerning Taliban and al-Qaida militants operating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Obama said officials haven't seen “the kind of concerted effort to root out those safe havens that would ultimately make our mission successful.”
The U.S. policy toward Afghanistan is undergoing a review, he said, adding that the effort will need a more effective coordination of military efforts with diplomacy and development initiatives.
“The bottom line though,” he said, “is this is a situation in which a region served as the base to launch an attack that killed 3,000 Americans.”
U.S. efforts must be smart, effective and consistent to ensure terrorist safe havens along the border no longer exist, he said.