Diplomacy has become a major part of Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan; the administration has been proactively recruiting regional allies, even ones that seem like strange bedfellows. Russia, for example, which suffered its own defeat in Afghanistan in part thanks to US covert operations, recently gave a general authorization allowing flights supplying US forces to fly through its airspace. “What we coalesced around is, this is a regional issue,” National Security Adviser Jim Jones tells Politico.
Obama has engaged with China on the issue, too, something the previous administration never even tried, according to Richard Holbrooke. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Jordan are all cooperating as well. Obama has gotten “more support from the world than anyone believed” possible, said John Murtha, in one of the last interviews before his death. “Some of the countries that before said, ‘We can’t do it’ are now saying, ‘We’re part of it.’”