Biden warns of 'deteriorating’ Afghan situation
By CONSTANT BRAND Associated Press
BRUSSELS — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO members to jointly confront al-Qaida and other extremist groups in Afghanistan where he said instability threatens all of the alliance’s members equally.
Appearing before NATO’s top decision-making body, Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency.
He warned that the situation in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was worsening, adding, “The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat from our respect not just to the United States, but to every single nation around this table.”
“It was from that remote area of the world that al-Qaida plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks” in Europe and elsewhere.
[Nice use of 9/11. Should we begin talking about Pakistan's weapons of mass destruction?].
Biden also said “we need to look at Afghanistan and Pakistan together because success in one requires progress in the other.”
-----“It is from that area that al-Qaida and its extremist allies are regenerating in conceiving new atrocities aimed at the people around the world from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the United States, Europe and Australia,” he added.
Biden said he wanted to find out what the allies believe works well in Afghanistan, what does not and “how we can do a better job in stopping Afghanistan and Pakistan from being a haven for terrorists.”
Officials said Biden did not request extra troops. [OBVIOUSLY KNOWING HE WOULDN'T GET ANY]. Obama has ordered 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to bolster the 38,000 already there. NATO has about 25,000 non-American troops in the country and Washington’s allies have been reluctant to increase their troops levels.
The top U.S. military officer in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, said Sunday that coalition forces were not winning the war in the south, which remains the center of the Taliban-led insurgency.