Obama's Afghan visit to bolster war on militants (2)

21:55, March 29, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama meets with troops at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, March 28, 2010. Obama arrived unannounced in Afghanistan on Sunday, his first visit to the war zone that could define his presidency since his election as U.S. commander-in-chief. Air Force One landed in darkness at Bagram airfield north of the Afghan capital, and Obama was whisked by helicopter to Hamid Karzai's palace in Kabul, where he was greeted by the Afghan president and a band playing the U.S. national anthem. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Over 1,700 service members with more than 1,000 of whom Americans of the NATO-led forces have been killed since the launching of the operation against the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Although the Taliban regime had been ousted of power, the Taliban-led militancy has been continuing since then and so far this year 136 soldiers of the NATO-led alliance with 83 of them Americans have been killed in the post-Taliban nation.

To effectively tackle the Taliban-linked militancy, Obama has ordered deploying the additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan and the process of arriving in is continuing.

More than 120,000 NATO-led troops with over 68,000 of whom Americans are presently stationed in Afghanistan to root out Taliban and associated militants.

"This is a very important visit at this stage that President Obama paid a visit and repeated Washington's long-term commitment towards Afghanistan," an analyst and legislator Daud Sultanzoi said at a panel discussion.

The visit took place couple of weeks after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad toured Afghanistan where he accused the U.S.- led troops of creating problems and called for their withdrawal.

After meeting Karzai, Obama strongly repeated Washington's firm support to Afghanistan by saying, "I want to send a strong message that the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan is going to continue."

Western media have often criticized Karzai's government over what they describe failing to check rampant corruption and to ensure good governance.

In the meeting with Karzai, according to officials, matters pertaining the security situation, counter-insurgency and fighting corruption came under discussion.

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