Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

Op-Ed: Joe Biden - The New York Times - Afghanistan. Pakistan. Forgotten - March 2, 2008

  • Joe Biden
    Person
Unknown

Note

Unknown
[This Op-Ed was published in The New York Times on March 2, 2008. It is available here: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/opinion/02biden.html] 1

Joe Biden

Unknown
THE next president will have to rally America and the world to "fight them over there unless we want to fight them over here." The "over there" is not, as President Bush has claimed, Iraq, but rather the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. 2

Joe Biden

Unknown
That is where those who attacked us on 9/11 came from, where the attacks in Europe since originated and where Al Qaeda is regrouping. It is the real central front in the war on terrorism. 3

Joe Biden

Unknown
Afghanistan is slipping toward failure. The Taliban is back, violence is up, drug production is booming and the Afghans are losing faith in their government. All the legs of our strategy -- security, counternarcotics efforts, reconstruction and governance -- have gone wobbly. 4

Joe Biden

Unknown
If we should have had a surge anywhere, it is Afghanistan. And instead of eradicating poppy crops, which forces many farmers to turn to the Taliban, we should go after drug kingpins. 5

Joe Biden

Unknown
We also need to make good on President Bush's pledge for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan. In six years, we have spent on Afghanistan's reconstruction only what we spend every three weeks on military operations in Iraq. 6

Joe Biden

Unknown
Afghanistan's fate is directly tied to Pakistan's future and America's security. When President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan concluded that we were not serious about finishing the job in Afghanistan, he began to cut deals with extremists in his own country. 7

Joe Biden

Unknown
As a result, the border area remains a freeway of fundamentalism: the Taliban and Al Qaeda find sanctuary in Pakistan, while Pakistani suicide bombers wreak havoc in Afghanistan. 8

Joe Biden

Unknown
The recent Pakistani elections gave the moderate majority its voice back and gives the United States an opportunity to move from a Musharraf policy to a Pakistan policy. To demonstrate to its people that we care about their needs, not just our own, we must triple assistance for schools, roads and clinics, sustain it for a decade, and demand accountability for the military aid we provide. 9

Joe Biden

Unknown
If Afghanistan fails or Pakistan falls to fundamentalism, America will suffer a terrible setback. The candidates should tell Americans how they will handle what may be the next president's most difficult challenge. 10