In an interview with CNN, Obama said he would soon announce the results of a long-awaited review – which would include an exit strategy to avoid “a multiyear occupation that won’t serve the interests of the US”.
“The American people will have a lot of clarity about what we’re doing, how we’re going to succeed, how much this thing is going to cost, what kind of burden does this place on our young men and women in uniform and, most importantly, what’s the end game on this thing,” he said.
“My preference would be not to hand off anything to the next president. One of the things I’d like is the next president to be able to come in and say I’ve got a clean slate.”
In the CNN interview, Obama gave a lukewarm endorsement of Karzai, saying his focus was on the government as a whole.
“I think that President Karzai has served his country in important ways. If you think about when he first came in, there may not have been another figure who could have held that country together,” said Obama. “He has some strengths, but he’s got some weaknesses. And I’m less concerned about any individual than I am with a government as a whole.”