The war in Afghanistan, begun in late 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks, has been ongoing for nearly seven years. An uptick in violence during the summer of 2008 renewed focus on the conflict. Read the stances of the presidential candidates below. The views of the vice presidential candidates are shown where available.
John McCain
Would send three additional brigades to Afghanistan and double the size of the Afghan army to 160,000 troops. Proposes to pay for the Afghan troop increase through an international trust fund financed by the United States and its allies. Would apply the counter-insurgency technique being employed in Iraq to the Afghanistan conflict. Says he would appoint an "Afghanistan czar" based in the White House who would report directly to the president. Says he would appoint a presidential envoy to address disputes between Afghanistan and its neighbors. Says he would crack down on narcotics trafficking in the country and would focus on strengthening local tribes on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight terrorism there.
Sarah Palin
Stated during the vice presidential debate October 2, "The surge principles, not the exact strategy, but the surge principles that have worked in Iraq need to be implemented in Afghanistan."

Barack Obama
Says he would send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan and would seek greater contributions -- with fewer restrictions -- from NATO allies. Says he would focus on training Afghan security forces and supporting an Afghan judiciary, with more resources and incentives for American officers who perform these missions. Proposes an additional $1 billion in nonmilitary assistance each year, with meaningful safeguards to prevent corruption and to make sure investments are made -- not just in Kabul, but also in Afghanistan's provinces. Would address Pakistan policy to secure the border and crack down on terrorist camps. Has said: "We must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like [Osama] bin Laden if we have them in our sights." Proposes to cut down on narcotics trafficking by offering alternative livelihoods to poppy farmers.
Joe Biden
Said Afghanistan was the "central front in the war on terror." Advocates more troops for Afghanistan. "A single brigade would make an enormous difference," he said. Believes that more funding for reconstruction is needed in Afghanistan. Advocates bolstering the counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan, including "providing Afghan farmers with alternate livelihoods," creating a judicial system that can confront drug lords and targeting drug refining plants.
The Forum
What issues engage you? Share your thoughts on the economy, Iraq, and other issues. Join the Forum
The issues that make up American politics have many voices. Here are a few governmental organizations, interest groups and companies from across the political spectrum that are actors in the debate over how best to resolve the Iranian stalemate. * CNN does not endorse external sites.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Business  |  Sports  |
Podcasts  |  Blogs  |  CNN Mobile  |  My Profile |  Email Alerts  |  CNN Radio  |  CNN Shop  |  Site Map
© 2008 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.