Afghan official says American support won't falter after U.S. election
Both parties are concerned about underinvestment in the war effort there, says Ambassador Jawad.
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But at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with reporters on Thursday, Ambassador Said T. Jawad said he was concerned about Pakistan's efforts to arrange what he called a "separate peace" with militants in volatile tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
"There is a consensus from both parties that there has been some underinvestment in Afghanistan and more resources and funding [are] needed. In fact, the Democrats are more outspoken on the need of focusing on Afghanistan. So I am really not concerned that a change of government or a change of political party in the Congress will affect the degree of the commitment of the United States to Afghanistan," Ambassador Jawad said.
During the breakfast, Jawad voiced his concern about the new coalition government in Pakistan negotiating with militants. "To us, the intention doesn't matter very much, frankly. It is the consequences, the outcome. And we know from experience in the past that the outcome of these kinds of separate peace deals, without including provisions for cross-border infiltrations, will lead to further violence against Afghans, NATO, and coalition forces," he said.
While they receive less news coverage than the war in Iraq, US military activities in Afghanistan have been costly. On Sunday, the Pentagon said that at least 427 members of the US military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as a result of the US invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
The ambassador was cautious in responding to comments Republican presidential candidate John McCain made in a speech Thursday. Senator McCain said he believes the Iraq war can be won within four years, leaving a functioning democracy there and allowing most US troops to come home. In a speech in Columbus, Ohio, he also said Osama bin Laden would be captured or killed within four years and Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan would be reduced to remnants.