Snap Fact #250
The Chess Master President Takes Two More Pieces in the Global Chess Game He’s Playing in Pakistan & Afghanistan!
Gambit #2 Firming Up Relations With the Karzai Government 
In a one two punch, The Obama administration made two important long term moves on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Yesterday we focused on the Pakistani side of the border to observe how President Obama had opened up the long closed supply lines from Pakistan. The President is implementing his overall strategy to clear all troops from the chess board to produce a truly meaningful and sustainable win. Today we look at his current move on the Afghani side of the neighboring country’s border. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday July 6, 2012. Her purpose was to strengthen our relations with the government as well as to strengthen their hand to deal with their situation after we leave. 

The Secretary formally designated Afghanistan a "major non-NATO ally," setting the stage for tighter military cooperation. This designation comes as a shore-up to the Afghani government and their armed forces at a time when NATO troops are committed to withdraw from the war ravaged country by the end of 2014. 
Afghanistan joins the list of major non-NATO allies that includes Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. One of the major benefits for the nations on this select list is their preferred status for priority delivery of military hardware including U.S. government help to buy arms and equipment. But the designation does not raise the non-NATO allies to the status of NATO membership since it does not include that organization’s mutual-defense pact. 

Secretary Clinton announced the new alliance to diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The plan is one move in the President’s overall strategy to withdraw all U.S. and NATO troops while leaving Afghanistan to responsibly defend itself after we leave. 

The White House had previously informed Karzai of its plans when President Barack Obama made a secret trip to Afghanistan in May, on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. At the time, a White House statement said the move would "provide a long-term framework for security and defense cooperation."