Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is "confident" his administration will meet its self-imposed deadline to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July of 2011.
But there's "going to be some hard fighting" over the next few months, he warned. Taliban and other extremist forces are "tough," he said.
He also stressed that the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan will continue long after the deadline.
"We are not suddenly, as of July 2011, finished with Afghanistan," he said during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House. "This is a long-term partnership."