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Updated: August 18, 2009 03:20 IST

Afghanistan will be neither quick nor easy: Obama

AP
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U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he ends his speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Phoenix on Monday.
AP U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he ends his speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Phoenix on Monday.

President Barack Obama says U.S. troops in Afghanistan are working to secure polling places so this week's elections can go forward and Afghans can decide their future.

Mr. Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday that the United States didn't choose to fight in Afghanistan, but was forced to invade that country to stop future September 11-type attacks at home.

Mr. Obama says his new strategy recognises that al-Qaeda has moved its bases into remote areas of Pakistan and that military power alone will not win that war.

Mr. Obama says it's important to note that the insurgency in Afghanistan didn't happen overnight and would not be defeated overnight. Mr. Obama warned Americans that the battle there will be neither quick nor easy.

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