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Legislative Update

Embassy of Afghanistan Legislative Update for August 2008

At this crucial moment in time, the Embassy of Afghanistan is actively engaging the U.S. Congress to provide the resources and commitment necessary to successfully rebuild Afghanistan. As part of these efforts, we will provide regular updates on legislative activity pertinent to Afghanistan and the region.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Visits Afghanistan

On August 6, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid visited Afghanistan as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation that included fellow Democrats Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Bill Nelson of Florida and Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Senator Reid stated that his trip has strengthened his view that more resources need to be devoted to that country. This was Senator Reid's first trip to Afghanistan.

Senator Reid visited a school in Kabul and received briefings from U.S. military officials who made it clear that they are in need of more resources. He stated that the focus on Iraq has taken needed attention from Afghanistan. He noted, "we have learned a lot in our experiences in Iraq about how to better handle Afghanistan...We're not attempting to win this war with sheer military power." Ambassador Said T. Jawad provided a briefing for the senators last month prior to their trip and suggested visiting areas where much-needed urban development is underway. The delegation also spent time in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Germany.

Embassy Briefs Senior House Staffers on Afghanistan

On August 7, Legislative Counsel Hawa Ghaus discussed security and reconstruction issues in Afghanistan with senior staffers from the Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Government Reform Oversight and the and House Foreign Affairs Committee. The staffers were preparing for an August fact-finding visit to Afghanistan as part of a Congressional delegation led by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.). The briefing included issues relating to security, reconstruction, education, women’s rights and Afghan popular opinion.

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