Under pressure over the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, US President Barack
In an interview with CBS's "Early Show" broadcast on Sunday, Obama said no one expected the US-led effort in Afghanistan to turn the country into a perfect Western-style democracy.
"What we're looking to do is difficult, very difficult, but it's a fairly modest goal, which is, don't allow terrorists to operate from this region; don't allow them to create big training camps and to plan attacks against the US homeland with impunity.
"That can be accomplished," he said. "We can stabilize Afghanistan sufficiently and we can get enough cooperation from Pakistan that we are not magnifying the threat against the homeland."
But in almost nine years since, a Taliban insurgency against President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government has become increasingly emboldened despite the presence now of almost 150,000 allied troops.
July was the deadliest month for US troops since the start of the war and the growing number of body bags is beginning to test the resolve of the American public."If I didn't think that it was important for our national security to finish the job in Afghanistan, then I would pull them all out today," Obama said.