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Joint Chiefs chairman urges tight focus on mission in Afghanistan despite withdrawal talk

  • FILE - This Jan. 11, 2013 file photo shows President Barack Obama listening as Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

    FILE - This Jan. 11, 2013 file photo shows President Barack Obama listening as Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2013 pool-file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with U.S. troops at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Wilson, Pool-File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2013 pool-file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with U.S. troops at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the US the White House said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Wilson, Pool-File)  (The Associated Press)

America's top military officer says the U.S. threat to withdraw all troops out of Afghanistan if no security pact is signed may encourage the enemy and lead some Afghan forces to align with the Taliban.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the announcement of President Barack Obama's order to begin planning for a total withdrawal also makes Afghan military leaders anxious and eats away at their troops' confidence.

Speaking at the end of a long day of meetings with his commanders in Afghanistan, Dempsey said Wednesday he wanted to make sure they knew there is still a lot of work to do this year, and that they can't let worries about next year distract them.