Admitting that the United States is not winning in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has opened the door for a reconciliation process in which his troops could reach out to moderate elements in Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq. In an interview with the New York Times, when asked if the United States was winning in Afghanistan -- a war Obama effectively adopted as his own last month by ordering an additional 17,000 troops being sent there, he flatly replied "No." Obama pointed to the success in peeling Iraqi insurgents away from more hard-core elements of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a strategy that many credit as much as the increase of the US forces with turning the war around in the last two years. "There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region," he said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated. In a 35-minute conversation aboard Air Force One on Friday, the Times said, Obama reviewed the challenges to his young administration. He spoke at length about the struggle with terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, staking out positions that at times seemed more comparable to those of his predecessor than many of his more liberal supporters would like.