Washington: The latest American
assessment of war in Afghanistan would be out today as the White House makes public annual review of the Af-Pak policy.
The much awaited Af-Pak policy document would review
the policy announced by US President Barack Obama, in
December last year in which he announced a massive surge of US
troops and then beginning of the withdrawal of troop by July
"I think we are seeing some progress. We still have
many challenges in both security and governance," White House
Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, said.
"We have progress and we have challenges. That is
something that is talked much about when we go into these
meetings in the Situation Room," he said, adding that the
monthly situation room meeting on Af-Pak is slated for today.
Before the Thursday announcement there would be
another meeting, he said.
"I think the President feels confident that we`re on
track on where we should be and that we can certainly meet our
commitments to begin a conditions-based drawdown of our forces
next July," Gibbs said.
"The President will make a statement on Thursday and
there will be a public release for the December review," he
Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for
Afghanistan and Pakistan and one of America`s most experienced
and feisty diplomats, died early today after he underwent
surgery for a torn aorta.
His death comes on the eve of the crucial monthly
Af-Pak situation room meeting at the White House to which he was a permanent fixture in this Administration.
To be chaired by Obama, Tuesday`s meeting would
include Vice President Joe Biden; Hillary Clinton,
Secretary of State; Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense; Jack
Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Susan
Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations (via
videoconference); Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor;
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence and John
Brennan, Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism Advisor.
Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor;
Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy; Leon
Panetta, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Rajiv
Shah, Administrator, USAID; Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (via videoconference) will also
be present in the meeting.
Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Ambassador to Afghanistan
(via videoconference); Ambassador Cameron Munter, US
Ambassador to Pakistan (via videoconference) and General David
Petraeus, Commander, NATO International Security Assistance
Force and US will also be attending the meeting.
Forces Afghanistan (via videoconference) are among
other key participants to the Af-Pak meeting.