Troops on Course to Leave Afghanistan in July: Report
White House cites 'fragile' gains in region
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2010 7:51 AM CST
Defense Robert Gates addresses U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Howz-E-Madad in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool)

(Newser) – The US is “setting conditions” to begin an Afghanistan troop withdrawal in July as planned, says a White House report. While President Obama’s strategy in the region is “showing progress,” the document says, “the challenge remains to make our gains durable and sustainable,” the Washington Post reports. Taliban gains have been “arrested in much of the country and reversed in some key areas,” but progress remains “fragile and reversible.”

The summary report cites “significant progress in disrupting and dismantling the Pakistan-based leadership and cadre of al-Qaeda over the past year.” Afghan troop recruitment has beaten its goals and forces have “sharply improved their training effectiveness. The summary doesn’t include supporting data, nor does it offer specifics on the withdrawal process; the original review is classified. Obama will discuss the report today.