President Barack Obama has flown out of Afghanistan after a surprise six-hour visit.
Air Force One took off from Bagram airbase after Obama had rallied US troops with a rousing speech and told Afghan President Hamid Karzai progression fighting corruption should match military gains.
Obama pledged there would be no let-up in the fight against the insurgency.
He said: “We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al-Qaeda and its extremist allies. That is our mission and to accomplish that goal our objectives here in Afghanistan are also clear. We’re going to deny al-Qaeda safe haven.”
About a third of the 30,000 extra US troops whose deployment Obama ordered in December are already there. He has also set a mid-2011 target to begin a withdrawal.
Obama’s half-hour meeting with Karzai was subdued, reflecting the frosty relations between the two leaders.
A perception in the United States that Karzai is tolerant of corruption has sapped support for the war in America.
Karzai said he hoped their partnership would continue towards a stable and strong Afghanistan capable of sustaining itself.
Obama reminded his Afghan ally that progress still needed to be made on good governance, rule of law, and anti-corruption efforts before the country could achieve prosperity, security and independence.