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U.S. Afghan Review Expected As Early As Next Week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House will complete its strategy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as next week before mounting a new push for help from NATO and other allies, a senior U.S. defense official has said.

"Our aim is to finish the review by the end of next week, if possible, or early the following week," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The administration aims to have the main outlines of the strategy for U.S. allies before a March 31 international conference on Afghanistan and a NATO summit in early April.

President Barack Obama launched the review soon after he entered office in January.

The official said the review will seek a return to the "first principles" of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, seven years after U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

For Pakistan, the administration is preparing what the official described as "quite a comprehensive approach" to shoring up the country's security, economics, and politics.

The review will set out concrete goals over the next three to five years, the official said.