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Dec 1, 2009 8:43 PM

Obama: Overall goal in war is defeat of al-Qaida

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP)

President Barack Obama says the core U.S. goal in Afghanistan remains the defeat of al-Qaida's terror network.

Speaking Tuesday night at the U.S. Military Academy, Obama laid out several objectives that he says are part of that overall goal.

Obama says U.S. forces and allies want to deny al-Qaida safe haven in Afghanistan, while reversing the momentum of the Taliban insurgency.

The president says the U.S. will also seek to strengthen Afghanistan's own security forces to eventually take over the fight.

Obama says the military strategy he presented Tuesday is aimed at breaking the Taliban's momentum over the next 18 months.

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