Barack Obama begins his world tour with photo ops in Afghanistan where he made three stops in Kabul, Bagram Air Base, and Jalalabad. We have the photos and videos.

His first stop was Kabul Afghanistan. Obama later stopped briefly at Jalalabad airfield in eastern Afghanistan where he got out of the airplane, waved and chatted with a small gathering of troops. Initial reports are that the reception from U.S. troops was chilly.

Obama was accompanied by two lesser-known Senators, Jack Reed (Democrat – Rhode Island) and Chuck Hagel (Republican – Nebraska). They are part of a very large contingency from the Obama campaign and media which is touring the region in a bid to establish Obama’s foreign policy credentials on the eve of the U.S. elections.

The contingency made a secret stop in Kuwait as reported earlier by the media.

Barack Obama’s appearances in Iraq and Afghanistan are sensitive topics for the governments of these nations. Obama earlier refused to support the troop surge in Iraq but proposed withdrawal instead, a position that most analysts beleive would have left Iraq in a catastrophic bloodbath were he calling the shots. Now he says the surge is successful, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remains unimpressed with the Senator. Obama has showered criticism on the democratically-elected government of Iraq.

Obama has also heavily criticized the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, one of the few foreign leaders to ever speak to a joint session of Congress in U.S. history. He has been dismissive of Karzai’s efforts in Afghanistan, accusing him of “not getting out of the bunker” despite several near-miss assassination attempts, while he has baffled the locals by flip-flopping on troop surges. Obama now supports a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan.

Update: A liberal German magazine had errantly reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister supports Obama timetable for withdrawal. Those earlier reports proved to be false as clarified late on July 19th by al-Maliki.

Video of Obama in Afghanistan below.


Obama in Afghanistan (Video)