New Afghan president: Obama may have to reexamine withdrawal

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in an interview broadcast late Sunday that President Obama might need to "re-examine" his deadline for the U.S. troop withdrawal from the country.

"If both parties, or, in this case, multiple partners, have done their best to achieve the objectives and progress is very real, then there should be willingness to re-examine a deadline," Ghani told CBS's "60 Minutes.”

"Did you tell President Obama that?" reporter Lara Logan asked.

"President Obama knows me. We don't need … to tell each other," Ghani said during his first televised U.S. interview since becoming the country's president.

Obama had announced plan to withdraw troops from the country by the end of 2016. There are currently about 10,000 troops remaining.

“There is a lot more talk, from — many of the senior leaders I deal with — on the Afghan Security Forces, about Iraq and Syria and what's going on, and saying, ‘Hey, the coalition left Iraq, and a couple years later — look what happened. Don't let that happen to us here in Afghanistan,’ ” U.S. Gen. John Campbell told “60 Minutes.”

“The fundamental difference is that the senior leadership, both on the military side and in the government, want the coalition. They want the U.S. to stay here,” he added.

Campbell said small pockets of al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan, adding that leadership is still targeted.

“Are they at a level that they can continue to attack and plan for the United States? We're doing everything we can today to make sure they don't have that capacity,” Campbell said.

“But I think we're going to have to keep continued pressure on that. Once you take that pressure off — it's only a matter of time before they continue to build that back up,” he added. “So that's why it's so important that we do build upon the Afghan capacity to keep that pressure on. If we get to a point where I think their capability can't do that and they're still a threat to the United States, then I'll make that sure my senior leadership understands that.”