Obama Arrives in Afghanistan

Candidate wants on-the-ground experience in US war zones
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2008 5:58 AM CDT
An Afghan police officer searches a vehicle for hidden explosives as another stands guard at a check point in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama touched down in Afghanistan today to begin a trip to the Middle East and Europe, CNN reports. The Illinois senator, whose whereabouts have been under wraps since he left Washington on Thursday, made a stop in Kuwait, where he visited US troops, his campaign said. He plans to speak with top commanders in both Afghanistan and Iraq, to get a sense of what "their biggest concerns are,"  he told a pool reporter before his departure, and to "thank our troops for the heroic work that they've been doing."

He hopes to meet with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, but noted that it is not his role to deliver any messages. "it is very important to recognize that I'm going over there as a US senator. We have one president at a time, so it's the president's job to deliver"  policy talk. Obama will also visit Iraq, Israel, Germany, England, and France.