AFGHANISTAN: THE FORGOTTEN WAR By Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del., Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee)
Text: www.cfr.org/publication/15600/conversation_with_senator_joseph_r_biden_jr_rush_transcript_federal_ news_service.html Video: www.cfr.org/publication/15591/conversation_with_senator_joseph_r_biden_jr_ video.html
On February 21, a helicopter carrying Senators Joseph Biden, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel was forced to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan as a result of a sudden snowstorm. The three senators were not injured and were quickly picked up and taken to the nearby Bagram Air Force Base.
Four days later on February 25, Senator Biden joked about this incident during a "conversation" moderated by CBS News Anchor Katie Couric at the Council on Foreign Relations.
In this reviewer's opinion, Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is not likely to become an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, as there is strong bipartisan agreement that our current efforts there are just and should be pursued if not augmented. But Senators Clinton and Obama will argue along with Senators Biden, Kerry, Hagel, and many others that, as Biden puts it, "The original sin was starting a war of choice [in Iraq] before we finished a war of necessity."
Biden paints a grim picture. The Taliban is back, violence and drug production are up, and the Afghans are losing faith in their government. NATO forces are not coordinating efforts well because each member insists on national caveats. Only 25% of the 75,000 member Afghan police force, after...