WASHINGTON -- When Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Afghanistan July 11 to 13, the gratitude of the people was proof to him that progress is being made in the country.
Gen. Pace made his unannounced trip to Afghanistan primarily to thank service members in the country, an official who traveled with him said.
"It is always good to see firsthand what is going on in a place," Col. Katie Haddock, the vice chairman's spokeswoman, said. "This was the general's first visit to the country since last November, and he was impressed with the progress he saw there. The markets are full; billboards are up advertising items; kids are going to school; there are vehicles on the streets; and there are repairs being made."
Gen. Pace met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the commander of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan; Turkish army Lt. Gen. Ethem Erdagi, International Security Assistance Force commander; and Army Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiyah, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76.
He visited U.S. and Afghan officials in Kabul, Bagram, and Forward Operating Base Langman.
Gen. Pace said he is impressed with the progress that has been made and the feeling in the populace. He said the mood is good in the country as the Sept. 18 national-assembly and provincial elections approach.