Foreign Policy Blogs

Biden in Kandahar

biden.jpgVice President-elect Joseph Biden stopped over in Afghanistan the day before yesterday, right after a visit in Pakistan with Prime Minister Gilani and just before he was due to stop in Iraq.  Biden did not just stop in Kabul, but actually spent his time in Afghanistan's south, mainly in Kandahar, where the insurgent presence has been the strongest.

This diplomatic visit is a signal of the Obama administration's emphasis on these three key states and Biden let it be known how important they felt Afghanistan's progress was in particular: Mr. Biden “reaffirmed his and President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to fully support troops and their efforts in the region.”  Biden met with senior American military officials and discussed the ongoing and future deployment of thousands more American troops to the country, especially in its south.  An important aspect of the Afghanistan troop surge is the additional requirement of new supplies and how to get them into the war zone safely.  Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman, gave Biden the logistical run down on the resources needed to equip the new troops sufficiently, including “helicopters, engineers, military police, transportation assets.”

Judging by the 3 continuous destinations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq for Biden, I would have to say the Obama administration seems likely to continue to view this as a regional conflict and one that needs a regional outlook.  As Biden was in Kandahar, a large contingent of Afghanistan Taliban members actually attacked a Pakistani Frontier Corps military base in Pakistan!  Obama has pledged much support to the US/NATO war effort in Afghanistan and to have any type of success stabilizing the country will need to also bring some order to Pakistan.  The instability and governance of each state is incredibly intertwined.

(Photo Source: Wall Street Journal, U.S. Vice President-elect Biden and Maj. Gen. Mart C. de Kruif in Kandahar, Afghanistan)

 

Author

Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO

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