Well Timed Sur­prise Visit

Southasia - - Briefing -

Pres­i­dent Obama’s un­ex­pected, un­der­cover, hush-hush visit to Afghanistan on the eve of Osama Bin Laden’s first death an­niver­sary has sent a strong sig­nal to many play­ers pre­dict­ing what a post-2014 Afghanistan will look like. Choos­ing the mo­ment care­fully, Pres­i­dent Obama’s visit was not only aimed at show­cas­ing Amer­i­can com­mit­ment to not aban­don the coun­try as it did when the Sovi­ets with­drew but to also send a strong, con­fi­dent sig­nal back home, that the Pres­i­dent is ready to re­turn to the Oval of­fice for a sec­ond term.

While in Afghanistan, the Pres­i­dent met with Amer­i­can troops and re­it­er­ated U.S strength and com­mit­ment to fight- ing the war and bring­ing its troops back home in 2014. He also met with Afghan Pres­i­dent Karzai, with whom he signed a strate­gic pact il­lus­trat­ing Amer­i­can re­as­sur­ances that the coun­try will not be aban­doned and also guar­an­tee­ing Amer­ica’s con­tin­ued eco­nomic and de- vel­op­ment aid.

Re­cent in­ci­dents have put a toll on the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship but this par­tic­u­lar visit quelled any sus­pi­cions of Wash­ing­ton’s in­ten­tions. Paci­fy­ing the Afghan peo­ple, promis­ing the Afghan gov­ern­ment a fu­ture se­cu­rity ar­range­ment and il­lus­trat­ing to the Amer­i­can na­tion, U.S strength and com­mit­ment, Pres­i­dent Obama’s visit to Afghanistan was timed per­fectly and achieved enough.

The visit will en­able the Pres­i­dent to at­tend the up­com­ing NATO Sum­mit, sched­uled for May 20, with more con­fi­dence and an un­der­stand­ing of a new and more en­gaged bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship in the works.

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