US Commanders Give Upbeat War Effort Reviews
U.S. commanders are offering glowing reviews of their 2012 Afghanistan war campaign. And the upbeat assessments could be interpreted as leeway for President Barack Obama to order another round of troop withdrawals next summer.
Obama faces tension between calls by Democrats and even some Republicans to wind down the war more quickly and the military's desire to avoid a too-fast pullout that might squander hard-won sacrifices.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has not yet recommended to Obama a specific pace of withdrawals for 2013.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the U.S. and NATO troops transferring security to Afghan forces should leave Afghan villages as soon as possible.
Speaking at a conference, Karzai says Afghan forces will take charge of securing the entire nation even before international forces end their combat mission at the end of 2014.
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