President's News Conference with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, January 11, 2013 [open pdf - 201KB]
From the statement of President Obama: "We meet at a critical moment. The 33,000 additional forces that I ordered to Afghanistan have served with honor. They've completed their mission and, as promised, returned home this past fall. The transition is well underway, and soon, nearly 90 percent of Afghans will live in areas where Afghan forces are in the lead for their own security. This year, we'll mark another milestone: Afghan forces will take the lead for security across the entire country. And by the end of next year, 2014, the transition will be complete: Afghans will have full responsibility for their security, and this war will come to a responsible end. This progress is only possible because of the incredible sacrifices of our troops and our diplomats, the forces of our many coalition partners, and the Afghan people, who have endured extraordinary hardship. In this war, more than 2,000 of America's sons and daughters have given their lives. These are patriots that we honor today, tomorrow, an d forever. And as we announced today, the next month, I will present our Nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, to Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha for his heroic service in Afghanistan. Today, because of the courage of our citizens, President Karzai and I have been able to review our shared strategy. With the devastating blows we've struck against Al Qaida, our core objective--the reason we went to war in the first place--is now within reach: ensuring that Al Qaida can never again use Afghanistan to launch attacks against our country. At the same time, we pushed the Taliban out of their strongholds. Today, most major cities--and most Afghans-- are more secure, and insurgents have continued to lose territory."
Compilation of Presidential Documents: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPD
Daily Comp. Pres. Docs., 2013 DCPD No. 00010