VP Pool Report
At Cheney's luncheon with Karzai, the Afghan leader told a story of meeting with tribal leaders and trying to get them to cooperate. "The only question they wanted to ask me, was, 'Is the United States with you?" Karzai said, according to this account.
People are concerned about the US commitment to the region, and Democrats in DC talking about withdrawal from Iraq make them concerned - though that debate back home had no bearing on the VP's decision to come here, sao said. "That would have devastating consequences to what we're trying to do" in this part of the world.
Karzai was reportedly "upbeat" - with all the money and troops that the US is committing to Afghanistan, the sao said, "It's all taken as a sign" of commitment.
"They worry about that... If they see weakness on the part of the US... They worry about our commitment."
The proposals of people in the US to withdraw from Iraq have "consequences in this part of the world," the official said. "The al Qaeda strategy is based on the notion that they can break the will of the American people."