U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (NC-13) traveled this week to Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of a House Foreign Affairs Committee trip to review security and reconstruction efforts underway.
The bipartisan delegation met with General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other U.S. and allied leaders, as well as American troops who are working to help the Afghan people rebuild their nation after years of Taliban control.
"We are seeing some success in Afghanistan," Miller said. "It's not just the military surge of thirty thousand additional troops, it's a civilian surge of a thousand civilians working to strengthen the local government, to provide basic services and to develop the economy."
Miller said the U.S. can't afford a Taliban government and it appears that U.S. forces are aggressively clearing tribal areas in Kandahar where the Taliban has always had sanctuary.
"The standard of living in areas that have been secured in Afghanistan has gone up dramatically. Afghanistan has been in conflict for thirty years -- conflict destroys the economy and standard of living. Afghans are tired of that and want security, they want to carry on a normal life," Miller added.
Miller was encouraged that military leaders and diplomats were allowed to give an unvarnished view of what's going on in Afghanistan.
The delegation wrapped up its trip in Islamabad, Pakistan, where they spent the last day meeting with high-level government officials including President Zardari to discuss coalition efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and fight terrorism throughout the region.