May 6th, 2009
11:16 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama faces test on Afghanistan, Pakistan

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with Afghanistan's president and President Obama.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with Afghanistan's president and President Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's ambitious strategy for Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, dubbed "Afpak" by administration officials, will face its first test Wednesday when he meets with the leaders of both countries - neither of which is seen as able to maintain stability and fight strengthening Islamic insurgencies.

The president will meet separately with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari before holding a joint session with the two leaders. The leaders also will hold talks at the State Department, FBI, CIA and on Capitol Hill.

Obama will try to build an enduring regional alliance with both countries, enlisting them as full partners rather than treating them as battlefields for U.S. soldiers to fight extremists. But both leaders are seen as weak and are deeply unpopular back home.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Obama administration • Pakistan • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    No test for Obama, simply apologize to every body involved and move on destroying the country. Obama is not real complex.

    May 6, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Todd

    A surge? But we all know the surge in Iraq was a failure! All we heard about from Obama and the media. Oh yeah, until it worked. Then we heard nothing. So maybe I guess following the Bush strategy, oh, I mean the Obama strategy, in Afghanistan is a good thing.

    Oh yeah, and let's not forget the predictions about violence increasing if we announced a pullout date from Iraq. Well, we announced the date. Now violence seems to be increasing. Hey, maybe Bush DID know what he was doing...

    May 6, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Slider

    Hey Obama! Gotta love Pakistan yes? Still wanna nuke 'em high?

    How's that military commission going?

    Isn't crow tasty?

    Now you know what Bush had to deal with regarding the question of putting a clown like Khalid in a federal court without having read him his Miranda rights.

    He'd be set free. Reality sucks doesn't it?

    May 6, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's about time Pakistan got their head out of their butts and start fighting back. It's not as if we haven't been telling them for the past two year that extremists are a imminent threat to them. I wonder what they're view of drone attacks across their border is now.

    May 6, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. JonDie

    Today most newspapers outside the US are reporting that the US military has once again deliberately massacred Afghani women and children.

    Our military commanders, as they continue to indiscriminately kill women and children, are literally KILLING any chance we have to achieve anything positive in Afghanistan, which would be difficult even under the best circumstances.

    And most US newspapers and news networks aren't even carrying the war in Afghanistan on a regular basis (including CNN), so most Americans are completley ignorant when it comes to Afghanistan.

    Obama will not be able to do ANYTHING.

    May 6, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. raj

    My message is "Stay away from this mess" we already contributed billions of dollar,,, let china and russia to handle this mess. They are major player in Asia. We we should burn hard earn taxpayers money

    May 6, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. FL

    Good luck to Obama! The situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan have both deteriorated since he took office. Maybe now he will see just how difficult it is to deal with extremists in other nations. Maybe he'll come to understand that though Bush was far from perfect, he did an okay job of handling this stuff after all.

    May 6, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Proud DHS radical

    I wonder when the dems and MSNBC will start calling Obama a war criminal for the raising death toll of civilians at the hands of our Predator missile attacks? I know they were always jumping on Bush over this issue.

    May 6, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. cookie-cutter liberal

    Don't worry guys, I know Obama will be able to persuade the freedom fighters to drop their weapons and realize the error of their ways. All it takes is a quick apology, a handshake, and a smile from that beautiful man and America will once again be in their good graces. Heck, the president might even get another book out of it–I hope he gets that new one called "Why America Is Evil and Oppressive and Dumb and Destroying the World: Part Four". It's the same one that my professor assigned for my class, and believe you me, it explains everything!!!

    May 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Tulsa

    It tells a lot about the people on this ticker that a story about photos of AF1, Bristol Palin or hambergers for the Pres and VP get so much attention while this story has no posts.

    This is one of the most important tri-lateral meetings that will ever be held in our lifetimes people.
    If Pakistan doesn't get a grip on the Taliban offensive we run the risk of having 60 or so nuclear weapons in the hands of the same people who gave safe haven to Al Queda.
    Think about that for a minute.

    If you can pull yourself away from topics that have no bearing on our lives as a free and safe nation that is.

    May 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Niki

    I don't know that it will do any good since the problems relating to terrorism in both countries are pervasive and entangled with economic hardships, cultural prejudices, and institutions that are embedded with corruption. Talking can be helpful and can bring people together to air their differences. We have found (well most of us have realized) that bombing our way into countries to root out terrorism isn't a long term solution. Our leaders must also realize that throwing money at their economic problems in the form of "aid" won't be a long standing solution either.

    If a sincere effort is made by the most powerful states in the world (NOT just the US) to teach the people of these countries to create lives for themselves (teach them to read and write, give them the tools for farming their land, educate/train them in government infastructure to create viable institutions that don't rely on corruption and bribes to run) then we will gives these people something to live for....and maybe that hope will not make them so easily moved to join the jihadist movement.

    I don't want to presume that my views are the only correct ones but I do know that what the international community has been doing for the past 20 years to get rid of these awful terrorists hasn't been working....and when something isn't working for that long; you have to change the strategy and not just hope that one day the same old strategy will magically click with people.

    May 6, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Joe

    Mr. President, Don't belive these two currept thugs, they have proved wrong before and they will do the same, let them cry and make sure if you provide any help make them accountable and let Sec.Clinton know be care full and don't get immotional. keep in mind they wear never been loyal in the past and will not in future........................

    May 6, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Jeff from Atlanta

    Don't worry, he'll just apologize and offer to give them billions.

    May 6, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Ron

    When I voted for President Obama I hoped this stuff would change. I hoped he would get us out of these countries. Now it is turning into a bigger and scarier mess than Bush gave us in Iraq. When will we learn the lessons of Vietnam? Let's get out before this gets out of hand. President Obama, I want change!

    May 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Some Republican Guy

    All we need to do is shoot nucular bombs at them. That would take care of the problem! Have a nice day!

    May 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. a Republican


    May 6, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Don

    Get the hell outa there and let the mid-east fend for itself. No aid, no weapons. Then see how far they get including Saudi Arabia.

    May 6, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Tulsa

    What a bunch of un-American traitors the right wing has become. You people disgust me.

    May 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. TC

    Yes Mr.President.... All is good now , thankyou... for apologizing for America... Let's shake or Bow whatever you want...or maybe you would like to go out for a burger and fries????

    May 6, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. obama/mama

    Only time will tell if Obama can get through to these two. People don't underestimate him. Stranger things have happened.

    May 6, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. nadine

    Obama will probably talk their ears off going uh huh, hum, uh uh uh, then finally get words out. The leaders will just nod, say what a cool guy, and behind his back do whatever they want to. Leaders of other countries do not like the guy, so why should they listen to what obama has to say. He is just all talk, and take all money, calling it his, the american way and patriotic duty.

    Funny though, with the war, he seems to be going what Bush did (sending more troops, providing tax payer money if you will), but the media is not alerting the public to his lies.

    May 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Pakistan and Afgan leaders are seen as weak and deeply unpopular back home, whereas Obama is weak and popular at home.

    Go figure. I'm sure Obama will just take more cash from the American taxpayer and send it to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    May 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Scott the Independent

    LaBott (the reporter) – no offense but President Obama is always facing a test to you and the other MSM types. Fact is he is up to the challenge you guys have to catch up in order to be effective. So get to your studies so you understand as much as possible about the parties involved and report, as objectivly as you mind can see fit to. Thanks.

    May 6, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Enough

    Hopefully he did his homework and studied. He didn't think Bush had a clue what he was doing, but looking back maybe Obama has figured out Bush is smarter than he gave him credit for.

    May 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Anarchy Is Better than This!

    No oil in Afghanistan or Pakistan. What do we get from them? Heroin and terrorists is all I can think of. Irradiation would be the best and easiest solution. Or maybe just plain old carpet bombing from high-altitude bombers. I'd say bomb them back to the stone age, but they are already there.

    May 6, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |