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Although Mr. Obama has pledged that most U.S. combat troops will leave by the end of 2014, American, NATO and allied troops are still dying in Afghanistan at a rate of one a day.

Even with 33,000 American troops back home, the U.S.-led coalition will still have 108,000 troops — including 68,000 from the U.S. — fighting in Afghanistan at the end of this year. Many of those will be training the Afghan National Security Forces that are to replace them.

“There is a challenge for the administration,” Mr. O’Hanlon said, “to remind people in the face of such bad news why this campaign requires more perseverance.”

Associated Press writers Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez in Kabul and researcher Monika Mathour in Washington contributed to this report.