Afghan President Hamid Karzai completes his US tour yesterday with a visit to US troops from the 101st Airborne Division weeks before they deploy to his war-torn country.
The US Army's Fort Campbell post has played a key role in President Barack Obama's surge of 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, a bid to turn around the nine-year war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But the top US and Nato commander in the country voiced cautious optimism about the effort.
Walking through the rows of white gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, a sombre Karzai bore witness to the tragic cost paid by Americans in the war.
The visit was part of a carefully scripted four-day trip by the Afghan leader designed to mend fences with his main ally after strains marked by Karzai's angry public outbursts.
Commander of US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, said there was still no clear winner in the war.