Leaders Solidify Afghan Takeover


US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the conclusion of the 2012 NATO Summit May 21, 2012 in Chicago. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

The withdrawal from Afghanistan is really happening. That’s what President Obama assured on Monday at the close of the NATO summit in Chicago, with the group of nations backing the American leader. Obama noted that “real challenges” remain at the Pakistan border, but said in a press conference that U.S. “forces broke the Taliban’s momentum” in the region. Obama acknowledged that Pakistan and Afghanistan must work together to achieve peace, though the president said he only spoke to Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari for a “very brief” time, “as we were walking into the summit.” Obama said the withdrawal plan is “irreversible,” adding that “The Taliban is still a robust enemy, and the gains are still fragile.”